There Used To Be Clocks Here

Clemson - Syracuse Preview

 

Syracuse students agree: Gotta end the regular season with a win.
Syracuse managed a nice win at home on Monday against UNC. Now Syracuse can avenge another road loss with Clemson to wrap up this COVID season. Syracuse needs a win either way.
The last game against Clemson wasn't good. While the Clemson defense is pretty good, it wasn't as good as keeping Syracuse to 30% from the floor and 25% from three. It was an off night on the road for almost the entire team. Boeheim, Griffin, and even Richmond all had bad nights in extended minutes. Joe Girard was the only player that managed a pretty good game for Syracuse, making 7-13 from the floor for 19 points. The real issue was Syracuse didn't make shots, and Clemson shot 43.5% from three and 52.9% overall. And obviously Syracuse has some defensive issues, but like their offensive performance, Syracuse is capable of better. So tonight is pretty simple. Syracuse either plays better defense and shoots the ball better, or Clemson wins again. They are on a five game win streak, so they have the ability to get hot. Syracuse must cover Nick Honor, who made 5-8 from three. Otherwise it's a senior night loss for Syracuse, with a lot of games in the ACC Tournament in Greensboro to go for Syracuse to have any confidence at all on this messed up Selection Sunday. Syracuse is capable of winning, just like they did Monday. Especially with Boeheim hot and the newfound Jesse Edwards playing above his expectations. Just for superstition's sake, I'm taking Clemson by nine.
This game is available on The ACC Network at 5:00pm. Enjoy and GO ORANGE! Thanks to the seniors, especially if they aren't coming back next year.

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North Carolina - Syracuse Preview

 

Syracuse students agree: It's preferable to make sure Roy doesn't get #901.
Syracuse is likely outside looking in. Either way, Syracuse still doesn't have their intended starting center. And earlier this season, Syracuse was relatively dominated by UNC. Can Syracuse get one back against them at home?
UNC is still a team that attacks the basket and the paint, and doesn't make a ton of 3s. That's exactly how it played out in the first game. Bacot and Brooks weren't quite unstoppable in the paint, but pretty close. Guerrier did well, earning a game high 23 points. And Boeheim had 18 points, hitting 4-9 from three. Honestly, this game should go the same way. UNC will bang the boards and shoot in the paint. Syracuse will get some production in the paint, but will rely on Boeheim, Griffin, and others to make shots. The game was close the first time, with UNC only winning by six points. Syracuse does have a shot to win this one. But I'm still taking UNC by 13.
This game is available on ESPN at 7:00pm. I'm off the grid tonight. GO ORANGE!

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Syracuse - Georgia Tech Preview

Syracuse students agree: It's pretty close to do or die.
Well it isn't early January. Which means that if Syracuse does lose to G'Tech, there are actually Tournament implications, unlike when that usually happens. Syracuse has been very high and very low in their last two games. Which Syracuse ended up in Georgia? We'll find out.
Everyone, more or less, thinks Syracuse is going to lose to G'Tech. G'Tech is slightly favored both by Vegas, ESPN, and KenPom. G'Tech is pretty good at two things, offense and stealing the ball. Syracuse, specifically Marek Dolezaj, will be outmatched down low. Moses Wright is 6'9". However, it's not the height, it's the weight. Dolezaj will likely be dominated inside because he's not the same level of bulk. Syracuse will likely have problems inside stopping them, much like Pittsburgh and UNC. The only way Syracuse will win is if they are able to make 3s. They just need to outscore G'Tech. A tough task though. Both teams are likely to get steals for points, but Syracuse needs to make sure Buddy takes and makes 3s. Either way, it's not likely based on how easy it will probably be for G'Tech to score inside. I'm taking G'Tech by 13.
This game is available on The ACC Network at 12:00pm. See you out there. GO ORANGE!

Syracuse - Duke Preview

 Syracuse students agree: Beating Duke is great, no matter the circumstances.
After a major comeback win, being down 20 points to Notre Dame on Saturday, Syracuse turns right around with a TON of momentum to take on Duke down in North Carolina. While Syracuse isn't dead without beating Duke, it would go a long way to get them on the right side of the bubble. So can Syracuse again rise to the occasion and pull the win off down in Durham?
Syracuse obviously had a huge lift with Buddy Boeheim exploding against Notre Dame, after a dismal first half by the team. Obviously, if Buddy Boeheim is clicking and making shots, that not only is good for Syracuse on the scoreboard, but it pulls defenders who have to guard Boeheim closer, to free up other options on offense. And getting Boeheim in the flow will be critical in helping break up the good defense of Duke, especially Jordan Goldwire, who steals the ball a ton off the bench for Syracuse. But really, it comes down to Syracuse defending, just like Saturday. F Matthew Hurt is the man Syracuse will have to stop. He's averaged over 20 points in his last 3 games, and Syracuse needs to make sure he has no easy buckets. It seems like Syracuse can be relied upon in scoring a decent clip. The key is can Syracuse adjust earlier than the half, like they did against Notre Dame, and keep Duke either close or behind to control down the stretch. An fairly empty Cameron should help the cause as well. I'm just a little superstitious at this point in picking Syracuse in a highly contested game. Despite having a ton of momentum and confidence after Saturday, Duke is on their own winning streak. Just because they are at home, I'm taking Duke in a close one. Blue Devils unfortunately by seven.
This game is available on ESPN (obviously) at 7:00pm. Beat Duke and LET'S GO ORANGE!

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Notre Dame - Syracuse Preview

 

Syracuse students agree: Beating Notre Dame is always good, resume or not.
Unfortunately for Syracuse, a chance for Syracuse to earn a big win was cancelled due to another COVID positive in Louisville. Either way, a streaky Notre Dame team comes into the Dome to take on Syracuse. And Syracuse needs to keep winning. Syracuse has a good chance with a Notre Dame team that started the year poorly, but has managed to win some good games as of late. Notre Dame is basically a team with good offense, and poor defense and rebounding.  Notre Dame does what Notre Dame always does. They shoot the 3 well. They hit 38.1% from three as a team, and Nate Laszewski hits over 50%. It's pretty simple. Syracuse will either defend the three point line as they have against NC State and BC, or they'll defend like they did against Virginia and Clemson. Syracuse, especially Griffin, has been a lot better at defending lately. So Syracuse will continue to do that, and create turnovers against a team that normally doesn't, or they won't. If they let Laszewski run wild, the game will be over quick. The good news is that Syracuse should have a bit of a rebounding edge against ND, so if Syracuse defends the line well enough to prevent easy, open looks for Notre Dame, it should be a one and done possession for the Irish. Syracuse, in theory, should win this game, but obviously they need to defend. I'm taking a flyer on Syracuse in this one at home. Syracuse over Notre Dame by six.
This game is available on The ACC Network at 2:00pm. Notre Dame sucks and LET'S GO ORANGE!

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Syracuse - NC State Preview

 

Syracuse students agree: Winning is pretty important at this point.
Syracuse did a good job to come back against NC State in the Dome last week. But then Syracuse traveled to Clemson and got smacked around. Now Syracuse needs to get wins against anyone ahead of them. Since Syracuse beat them earlier in the year, Syracuse has a chance to do the same on the road against NC State.
Syracuse came back against NC State by scoring from Allen Griffin, along with Kadary Richmond soring 14 off the bench on 6-7 shooting from the floor. Additionally, Boeheim, Dolezaj, and Guerrier.. Syracuse really struggled to stop Jericole Hellems from scoring at will. He had 24 in the loss. But he carved up Syracuse inside. The difference today is that Sidibe has returned to the team, an was at least effective in altering shots and provided some offense in their last game. Stopping Braxton Beverly from behind the arc, will also be important for Syracuse. But again, NC State is not a powerhouse shooting team. If Syracuse comes out and makes baskets before even needing to drive inside, they will probably win the game. If they aren't, and are forced to drive, Syracuse will have to make the bunnies they have missed the last few games. Honestly this game could go either way. If Syracuse is able to get a lead and not allow NC State to run wild on offense in the first half, the good news is Syracuse has the experience to close a close game out. They have won more close games this season than they have lost. So in a close game, even on the road, I would give the advantage to Syracuse. But Syracuse hasn't played well on the road, and after the Clemson game I just don't have faith that Syracuse can stop scorers and go out and shoot the lights out. In a close one I'll give the advantage to NC State for being at home. NC State by 8.
This game is available at 6:30pm on The ACC Network. Home Office. GO ORANGE!

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Syracuse - Clemson Preview

 Syracuse students agree: This would be a nice little win.
Syracuse pulled out a close game against NC State after a dreadful first half of defense. Syracuse adjusted, made some nice offensive plays, and came out the winner against fellow bubble team NC State. Syracuse now has a chance for another solid win, this time on the road, down at Clemson.
This is an interesting matchup on paper. Syracuse has one of the more efficient offenses in the country, ranking in the top 40. Clemson has the 14th best defense in the country and forces 15.4 turnovers a game. If Syracuse is careless with the ball, Clemson will take advantage. However, the Clemson offense ranks dead last in the ACC, and they are 227th in the country in three point shooting. That's very good news for a team that plays exclusively 2-3 Zone defense. Either Clemson will be forced to make tough shots inside a packed zone, or they will have to jack up a bunch of threes when that isn't their game at all. That bodes well for a Syracuse team in a game that could see the return of Bourama Sidibe, who at the very least could grab some rebounds and block some shots, if not get a few put backs of his own. Syracuse will have to score on the other end as well, and if they get hot, this game should be over. If Syracuse plays even a modicum of defense, and covers Aamir Simms, the only player scoring in double figures for Clemson, Syracuse has a chance to run away with a road win. The more I look at this game on paper, the more my mouth waters and I'm talking myself into a big win. I may get let down, but I'm here for it. Syracuse over Clemson by 14.
This game is available on The ACC Network at 2:00pm. Home office as usual. GO ORANGE!

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NC State - Syracuse Preview

 
Syracuse students agree: Getting another home win is great.
Syracuse was crushed at #8 Virginia inside, and for also not making any shots. But before that, Syracuse won their previous two home games, including against ranked Virginia Tech, by an average of 22 points. Syracuse has the chance to get firmly on the right side of the bubble against a fellow bubble team, and stop the odd losing streak against NC State as well.
NC State comes into the Dome their first game after losing their best player to an ACL injury, effectively ending his season. Devon Daniels averaged 16.5ppg and almost 50% from the floor. He will be missed by NC State, who now has to make up that offense. But also rebounding. Syracuse needs to drive and get good scoring opportunities like they did against VTech. Earning free throws and getting NC State into foul trouble will go a long way in winning the game. NC State doesn't take many 3's but when they do, the usually make them. So they either need to force players to go inside, or take so many contested outside shots that they get out of rhythm and miss a bunch, allowing Syracuse to take advantage by limiting possessions of the opponent and earning fast break points. Even without a major shot blocking presence in the middle of this zone, they should be able to handle NC State. This is a very winable game for Syracuse. I'm picking the Orange by nine.
This game is available on the ACC network at 6:00pm. I'll be watching, along with John. GO ORNAGE!

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