Not to be lost in all this Syracuse Football Coachapalooza nonsense is the fact that the nationally-ranked Syracuse Orange basketball team (6-0) is hosting the Wisconsin Badgers (4-3) this evening as part of the ACC-B1G Challenge.
The Orange enter the game as 4.5-point favorites but can Jim Boeheim out-duel Bo Ryan one last time? Let's see what everyone thinks...
Syracuse 67 - Wisconsin 55
I expect the Orange to come out firing after their big week in Atlantis. Tyler Lydon has proven himself and its clear what Boeheim saw in the beginning of this year with the 3-point shooters. There are 4 threats on the permitter with Cooney, Lydon, Gbinije, and Richardson. They will take advantage of a very inexperienced Wisconsin team that looks a lot different than it did last year when they were in the National Championship.
Syracuse 75 Wisconsin 70
I think we see a hangover from Atlantis as the team comes out a little slow defensively and forces the issue too much on offense. It'll keep close as the team figures things out but I think the Orange pull away in the second half to set the stage for this weekend's big games. Wiscy might have dropped some games they shouldn't, but they still have a well coached team that should pounce on the Orange should they give an opening to the Badgers.
Syracuse 77 - Wisconsin 67
The Badgers simply don't have the veteran leadership, shooting prowess or defensive toughness they possessed last season, which probably makes for their undoing against the Orange on Wednesday night. Expect another big game from Michael Gbinije, while Tyler Lydon exploits some holes in the Badgers' defense all around the floor. Without the three-ball to rely upon, Wisconsin has little to truly combat the zone with, which should give SU its seventh straight victory.
Syracuse 78 - Wisconsin 68
The Badgers have been remarkably bad against the 3, allowing opponents to shoot 45.1% from beyond the arc this season. Because of that, the Orange get hot from 3 -- like they did so often in the Bahamas -- and avoid a letdown sandwiched between the Battle 4 Atlantis and a trip to Georgetown.
Syracuse 74 - Wisconsin 67
Syracuse is pretty good at three-pointers this season and Wisconsin is not very good at defending them so as long as current trends hold, plus factoring in that the Dome crowd will be rockin', the Orange should be able to win this one.
Now it's your turn...