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Ole Miss - Syracuse NIT Second Round Preview

Syracuse students agree: We're still probably not back on campus.
Syracuse dispatched UNC Greensboro on Wednesday after having a snow delay for 24 hours. And now Syracuse takes on the 5 Seed Ole Miss. They beat Monmouth on the road and now look to advance past Syracuse and into the Quarterfinals. Ole Miss will not be easy as UNCG was though. For starters, they are a Power 5 team. So they will be tough to handle on the bards. They are the leading rebounders in the SEC. Syracuse, and specifically Tyler Lydon, will have to be big on the boards for the Orange. Lydon has been excellent at rebounding as of late, achieving double digit rebounding totals in his last few games. Andrew White has been on fire lately, and Tyus Battle has also been excellent. Syracuse's offense has really been good lately. If Syracuse plays solid defense against Ole Miss, especially shutting down leading scorer Sebastian Saiz, and rebounds, Syracuse should be in great shape to advance. If Syracuse keeps the rebounding margin close, they should have no trouble advancing. But as a side note, how bad does Andy Kennedy want to beat Syracuse after Gerry McNamara knocked out Cincinnati in the 2006 BET? Andy Kennedy will be ready. Will his team be? They should be, but I think Syracuse, playing at home, will have the edge. If Syracuse keeps the rebounding within 5, I think they win this. Syracuse over Ole Miss by 8. This game is available nationally on ESPN / WatchESPN at 11:00am. Both John and I will see you on the Tweets. Catch you early. A rare pre-nooner tip.

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UNC Greensboro - Syracuse NIT First Round Preview

Syracuse students agree: It's cold outside, but the Dome is warm during post-season action.
Syracuse didn't make the Big Dance, but they're making the best of it, with an opening round game in the NIT at home in the Dome. And of course, the committee had a little fun with Jimmy B, matching them up against UNC Greensboro. I'll let that nonsense play out on Twitter. We're here to talk basketball. And I'll say this, despite being the Southern Conference regular season Champions, sweeping Wofford, beating Mercer, and Furman doesn't impress me much. And maybe if Syracuse were playing on a neutral court with an upset hungry supporting UNC Greensboro they could be an upset brewing. But I just don't see how Syracuse could go out and lay an egg against a team that is 186th in the nation in rebounding. I think Syracuse is just too long, fast, big, and talented to get beat by the Spartans. Syracuse should be able to rebound their misses, get some easy looks inside, and be able to run and score in transition off of turnovers. Something we haven't seen Syracuse excel in since perhaps early December. Not much of an X's and O's preview needed here. If Syracuse plays halfway decent defense, and makes some of their shots, they should be in good shape to advance to play Ole Miss in the Carrier Dome in the next round. I'm taking Syracuse by 22. The game will now be on ESPN 2 / WatchESPN at 7:00pm on Wednesday the 15th. Both John and I will be watching from home, so we'll see you on the Interwebs.

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Orange::44 Bracket Extravaganza 2017!

 It's a happy time of year. Unless your team didn't make it.
Whelp. Syracuse didn't make the Big Dance. It's a little disappointing. Syracuse needed to probably win one more game. Or more accurately, not lose to either Louisville at home, @ BC, St. John's, Georgetown, or UConn. But that is in the past. Now it's time to look forward to the best week of College Basketball of the year. As usual, the staff here at Orange::44 have provided our full brackets for public consumption. Sheets of Integrity. One sheet. Everybody should know the rules. John and I are pretty similar for the NCAA. A little different for our NIT brackets. Either way, take a look. No funny commentary this year. Syracuse isn't in the Big Dance, so my bracket is by the book. Below is John's NCAA Bracket, followed by both of our NIT brackets. Enjoy. No NCAA Coverage this year sadly, but we'll follow the Orange through the NIT, hopefully to MSG. Stay warm, and we'll catch you soon.

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Miami - Syracuse ACC Tournament Second Round Preview

Syracuse students agree: One more and you can feel comfortable.
Syracuse is in familiar territory.  Firmly on the proverbial bubble. So now we head to the postseason, where Syracuse will take on Miami in the ACC Tournament's second round, for the right to take on #1 seed Miami. Syracuse beat Miami in the Dome on January 4th 70-55. Now Syracuse moves to Brooklyn. It's not MSG, but at least we're back in the north. Syracuse beat Miami through a good shooting performance, but really it was Syracuse's work on defense and on the boards that carried the day. Syracuse outrebounded Miami 41-26. Miami is the 4th best rebounding team in the league. But somehow Syracuse played really sound fundamental basketball. This game is not being played in the Carrier Dome. But that being said, Syracuse is playing really well right now (despite the 20 point loss to Louisville [Louisville is really, really good]). Andrew White couldn't miss the other night. And while I think he will miss a few in Brooklyn, I expect he keeps up the great effort. And Tyus Battle is also playing a lot better. Gillon has settled into his role as point guard. I expect Syracuse to come out strong in this one. They are hungry and motivated. I like the Orange in this one, over the U by 12. This game is available nationwide on ESPN / WatchESPN at 12:00pm. I'm attempting to take a long lunch. John will be watching. He also may be sneaking his way into the arena. Stay tuned. Either way, GO ORANGE!

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Georgia Tech - Syracuse Preview

Syracuse students agree: Winning on Senior Day is always great.
Syracuse dropped a winable game at Georgia Tech, getting behind, then being robbed of a possible great comeback by a call that never should have been made. But that was on the road. Now Syracuse is at home and can finish their season and send the seniors off with a final regular season home win today. And Syracuse needs it. This is a winable game and Syracuse needs to get that win total up. Can they keep GTech at bay? Well they need to score. Syracuse had a problem getting their top scorers going in that game. GTech boasts the 2nd best field goal defense in the ACC. Syracuse beat Virginia. They can beat GTech. But Tyler Lydon and Andrew White can't disappear like they did in Atlanta. If Syracuse can get consistent scoring from two out of three of Thompson, Lydon, and White, they will be in good position to win the game. Syracuse's defense should be able to do just enough, and the crowd will be on their side, but if White isn't making shots, Battle and Gillon will have a lot of work carrying the team on their own. Thompson has been brilliant the last few games on offense when he's actually on the floor due to not being in foul trouble. I expect him to have a great game today, but I also expect White to have a good shooting day on his final game in Orange. I like Syracuse at home in this one. I picked them to beat GTech on the road (and they may have but didn't). I'm definitely picking them at home. Syracuse over GTech by 8 to stay on the right side of the bubble. This game is available regionally on the ACC Network at 4:00pm. Check your local listings here. WatchESPN for everyone else. John is in the Dome. I'm at home. GO ORANGE!

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