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Wake Forest - Syracuse Preview w/ some Lacrosse Talk

Syracuse students agree: lacrosse & basketball in the same weekend is fun!

Wake Forest comes to the Carrier Dome on Sunday for an ACC basketball game. But before then, Saturday is the season opener for the men's lacrosse team, with a tilt against Interstate-81 rival Binghamton. So I'll talk about that first.

The biggest question as we start the lax season is, how much did the mumps epidemic this fall impact the ability of the team to adequately prepare for the season? Honestly, I'm expecting the answer to be minimally to none. These are elite college athletes. They know how to play. Any missed practice/scrimmage time in the fall would only affect team cohesiveness -- something they've no doubt been able to figure out with practices and scrimmages this spring. Instead, let's focus on the relative youth of this team. While there are only a handful of true seniors and redshirt seniors, they're a solid core around which this team can build. Plus, despite what a certain portion of the fan base keeps clamoring, John Desko is a good coach. Binghamton is primed to have a great season, but there's no real reason to think Syracuse would lose to the Bearcats. Let's just hope Syracuse can win with better than a one-goal lead, to buck last year's trend. The game is at 1:00pm EST and is available internet-only on ACC Network Extra beginning two minutes after reality. If you're not heading up to the Dome, check out the "live" stream or catch me on the tweets.

Starting around 3:30pm, the Carrier Dome staff will begin the task they do oh-so-well: converting the field from lacrosse to basketball, with plenty of time for Sunday's 1:00pm tip against Wake Forest. At 9-15 on the season, 2-10 in ACC play, Wake is having a rough go of it this season. But if you look at some team stats, without looking at records or knowing anything about these teams, you might think Wake is the better team on paper. Chalk that up to the abysmal Orange offense. However, that offense experienced a resurrection on Monday against Louisville -- and with the rest of the week off since then, I will be cautiously optimistic about another great offensive showing. If there's a Demon Deacon poised to kill Syracuse, it's likely Bryant Crawford, who doesn't shy away from attempting threes. He's shooting that at a 36.4% clip this season, so even if he gets hot, the Orange will still need to contain the others with that shut down zone defense, and play smart on the other end. Tyus Battle and Frank Howard played great against the Cardinals, and will need to continue to carry this team on their backs. It's a short (if even existent) bench for Jim Boeheim, so avoidance of further injuries, or foul trouble, is essential to victory. Brian's shielding his pasty white skin from the rays in the DR but picks Syracuse by eight; I'll be in the Dome and pick Syracuse by eleven. The game's at 1:00pm on the ACC Network, so check out your local affiliates here. Glad I'll be in the Dome to once again avoid my local affiliate's standard definition feed in 2018.

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