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Wake Forest - Syracuse ACC Tournament Round 1 Preview

Syracuse students agree: The conference tournament is a lot of fun... if you win.
Syracuse has to win tonight if they want to make it to March Madness. They split the series on the year with Wake Forest, but they will now have to take down the Demon Deacons if they wish for a chance to play next weekend. Syracuse must do a couple things, and I've been saying them all year. They have to score, and they have to defend. Syracuse was able to really lock it down against Clemson, a pretty good offensive team. The game was really only close because Clemson made a few REALLY deep 3s that SU wasn't really guarding because they were so far back from the line. And in the Syracuse win over Wake in the Dome, Wake Forest almost came back to win because they got hot from 3, specifically Bryant Crawford. He was 8-18 in the two games against Syracuse. While the defense never arrived in Boston, it was at least present at home in Syracuse. Hopefully, being the same state, Syracuse will find some defensive prowess in New York City. Somehow Syracuse won the game against a very good Clemson team by defending well, including Chukwu who had two ridiculous blocks on the same play, even after falling to the ground because he is basically an anvil on two sticks. Syracuse needs defensive play and for him to stay out of foul trouble if they wish to be in this game. Either Syracuse defends well and gets enough players involved to score buckets, or they go home and Syracuse plays in the NIT again. It's simple. I think based on the defensive performance against Clemson though, and the fact that Dolezaj and Brissett had a bit of a bounce back in the last game, I'm taking Syracuse to at least have a shot at the tournament by winning tonight. I'll take the Orange by 8 in front of a big time pro-SU crowd. This game is available on ESPN U / WatchESPN at 7:00pm. Win, and they advance to play North Carolina at 9:00pm tomorrow night. And a chance to dance. John and I are in the respective home offices. It's a magical week and I've seen some magic happen in a conference tournament. Tonight may be the start. Who knows? GO ORANGE!

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