Winners of seven in a row and their first four ACC contests, the Syracuse Orange look to extend both streaks as they head to South Carolina to take on the Clemson Tigers. Break out the Denny's, everyone.
Will the Orange keep the momentum going? Does big man Rakeem Christmas have another huge game in him? Will SU require the final seconds, or possibly overtime, to get the job done? Let's see what the TNIAAM crew thinks...
Syracuse 65 - Clemson 58
Syracuse should take care of business on Saturday, but it probably won't be as easy as you’d expect. That’s partially because it’s never easy with this team, but it’s also because Clemson might not be that bad. At the very least, the Tigers are tough to figure out. They lost home games to Winthrop and Gardner-Webb in November, but in the past six weeks have beaten Arkansas, played Louisville tough in Louisville, and won at Pittsburgh. Thanks to another strong performance from Rakeem Christmas, the Orange narrowly get to 5-0 in ACC play.
Syracuse 69 - Clemson 58
Our injury-hating friends from South Carolina don't have much in the way of fire power this season with K.J. McDaniels gone, so expect a fairly low-scoring affair on Saturday. Clemson is 280th in scoring, shoot under 30% from the three-point line, and don't have any obvious candidates to emerge from the depths of the bench to explode for 30 points. Yes, I realized I've probably doomed us all, apologies in advance. I see a fairly comfortable, if ugly, Syracuse win.
Syracuse 64 - Clemson 51
At some point, SU's run of solid 3-pt shooting is going to slow down and this seems like the game where it won't kill the Orange. Clemson is struggling mightily on offense this year, so this has the makings of an ugly game. Hopefully this game unfolds in a way where Syracuse can take control early and get some minutes for Okoboh and Johnson, as well as some rest for Christmas and Cooney.
Syracuse 55 - Clemson 52
Did you enjoy seeing Syracuse score more than 80 points? That's nice, because you probably won't see that again Saturday. Get ready for another ACC slugfest on the road, and another SU victory that takes a year or two off your life. Fun!
Syracuse 64 - Clemson 57
The last time Syracuse went down to Littlejohn Coliseum, they lost an NIT game to the Tigers in 2007. That season sucked, but this team MAY be more talented than that one was -- even without Chris McCullough. Like the Orange, Clemson largely can't score, but make up for it with defensive aptitude. And hey, they even beat Pitt AT Pitt, which is something we haven't done all that often. Still, expect a close game that finally turns the way we expect it to once we just simplify the gameplan and get it to Rakeem Christmas for the final few minutes, and let him do his thing.
Syracuse 60 - Clemson 53
There was a while there when I felt like a little bit of a jerk cause I wasn't sure I actually expected Syracuse to win some of the games I said they would. Now, though, I'm feeling good again, which is probably a bad sign, but, I have some faith in this squad again. Can't say enough about Rak and I think we're all under-appreciating some of the others guys out there as well. Only way this game becomes a huge problem is if Christmas gets into early foul trouble and that's just the risk we run all year long. This'll be an ugly game but it should be another win.
How about you?