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Syracuse - Duke Preview

Syracuse students agree: Not losing two in a row would be a plus.
25-1 is the record Syracuse now possesses. Most teams would kill for that record. It certainly isn't the end of the world that Syracuse lost on Wednesday. Frankly it also wouldn't be if Syracuse loses tonight. But we'd all prefer to not have that happen.
Syracuse makes its first trip to Durham in a very long time. But really, this game breaks down very simple. If Syracuse struggles on converting baskets in trips down the floor they will probably lose. If Syracuse allows Jabari Parker to get loose in the paint Syracuse will probably lose. If Duke shoots and makes a boatload of 3's like they did in the Dome Syracuse will probably lose. It's simple. Syracuse needs to again have a virtually perfect game on offense or cause some major problems on Defense for Syracuse to have a chance in this game. Syracuse's offense has been a joke the last few games, shooting in the 30's for field goal percentage. Syracuse has also struggled at the free throw line as of late. If CJ Fair or Tyler Ennis are really cold from the floor, or Christmas keeps missing bunnies, Syracuse is going to have a real problem ending up on the right side of the scoreboard. Both of these teams are struggling as of late, with Duke losing at UNC on Thursday, and obviously Syracuse losing their first game of the year to BC on Wednesday. But Duke possesses enough talent that even if the Syracuse defense is active and somehow limits Duke to only 70 or so points, if the Syracuse offense isn't also playing at a high level this game could get embarrassing. While the ACC race won't be decided today (that will probably have to wait for SU's trip to Virginia), it would be nice to be only the fourth ACC team to sweep Duke in a season in a very long time. Sadly, nothing about the Syracuse offense, other than the fact they are actually pretty efficient despite teams using almost all of the shot clock on every trip, convinces me that they will win this game today. I'm taking the Blue Devil's and their smarmy fans over the Orange by nine.

This game is available nationally on ESPN / Watch ESPN at 7:00pm. Both John and I will be Tweeting away all game so join in as you usually do. We'll be back in short order with recaps and other stuff. Maybe we'll get to lacrosse, but after today I don't even want to touch that for a while either. Enjoy the game. 

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