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Syracuse - Duke Preview

Syracuse students agree: Beating Duke at Duke is always huge.
Syracuse let UNC escape on Wednesday night, in what would have been a big win on the year. Now, another opportunity presents itself on the road in Durham, as Syracuse takes on Duke. However, this one will be tougher, as Syracuse hasn't exactly smoked other teams on the road. With the exception of the game at Miami, Syracuse has definitely struggled on the road this season. That being said, in the last two games, Syracuse has played very well in the 2nd half of both games on offense, and the defense has been fairly decent over the stretch. Syracuse did struggle on the boards (of course) versus UNC, and allowed some big shots, but overall they played enough on defense to be able to win. Syracuse will have to play some really great defense against Duke's shooters if they want to win. Duke is the best 3 point shooting team in the ACC, and have 3 legitimate shooting threats. And playing against a Zone certainly would indicate that they have the advantage. But the interesting matchup really is Duke's 2-3 Defense against the Syracuse offense. Syracuse's strength on offense is when Battle, Howard, or Brissett are able to drive to the basket. 2-3 makes it harder to do that, and gives open looks on a Syracuse team that seems to want to shoot, but they aren't very good at shooting overall. That is a recipe for disaster for Syracuse. And the fact that Syracuse Lacrosse won in 3 OT today means Duke is probably winning by 30 (not really but possibly). Either way, while I think Syracuse could make this game close, I just don't think it will be. I'm taking Duke at home over the Orange by 14. Syracuse will have to win their next 2 to finish the year, and then win 1 game in the ACC Tournament to probably make the Dance. Either way, this game is on ESPN at 6:00pm(ish). Also available on WatchESPN. John is probably watching, but he may still be celebrating that lax win, as he was in the Dome today. I'm in the home office. LET'S GO ORANGE!

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