Syracuse students agree: Pitt isn't a must win, but it's pretty darn close.
Syracuse is in an interesting spot. The last time they faced Pittsburgh Jim Boeheim was not at the helm. Syracuse tried, but they were unable to keep Pittsburgh out of the paint and off the boards. After losing three more conference games in a row, with Boeheim back they fired off 8 wins in 9 games. Then there was the Louisville game. Will Syracuse be a better defensive and rebounding team than when the faced Pitt, or even in the last game against Louisville? They have to, because both efforts were terrible. Pittsburgh destroyed SU on the boards last time 42 to 22. Syracuse will have to try and outmuscle Pitt to the ball if they want to stay in this game. More importantly, Syracuse needs to defend the paint better than last time. Specifically, the forwards. The center will take the first man with the pass, that means the forwards need to come in and help. They didn't do that in the first 4 losses. They have since. Pittsburgh isn't going to light up the Dome hitting 3s. It is imperative that Syracuse stop good shots in the paint, and then 2nd chance points. If Syracuse can do that, I think they will be shooting well enough at home for the win. This is the biggest home game left on the schedule, so a good showing in front of the home crowd will be good for this team overall. It's simple. If Syracuse plays defense they win. If they don't, it will look like the first Pitt game, but this time in the Dome. I like SU's chances at home to grind one out. I'll take the Orange by 3. This game is available nationally on ESPN 2 / WatchESPN at 2:00pm. Both John and I will be in the Dome, along with several of our good friends so we will be having a ball. If the team comes through that would make the weekend even better. Safe travels and Go Orange!