The Syracuse Orange (11-7, 1-4) got themselves in the win column for the first time in a couple weeks, knocking off Boston College on Wednesday night to pick up its first ACC victory. But they have to refocus quickly for another game this weekend. Syracuse takes on the pesky Wake Forest Demon Deacons (10-6, 1-3) down in Winston-Salem tomorrow. Unfortunately, the game tips at noon. This could be problematic...
So what happens? The TNIAAM crew takes a shot at predicting the outcome:
Syracuse 71 - Wake Forest 68
The Orange are coming off of a feel good victory after defeating Boston College so I expect them to go into this fired up. But Wake Forest will not be that easy of an opponent and they have an inside presence that BC lacked and that can be the difference in this one. I still think Syracuse will hit enough shots to pull this one off, but it will be a close one since Syracuse will more than likely lose the battle in the paint.
Syracuse 74 - Wake Forest 70
We know that nothing is easy with this Syracuse squad, so prepare to be start your Saturday by nervously watching this game. I think this is where Syracuse finishes a close game and gets out of Winston-Salem with a win. It's a game the Orange need with trips to Duke and Virginia to follow.
Syracuse 61 - Wake Forest 60
Syracuse will continue its strong defensive play and earn its first road victory in the ACC. The Orange will contain Thomas and provide just enough offense to get over the hump.
Syracuse 72 - Wake Forest 70
I think Syracuse is marginally better than Wake Forest, but road wins in the ACC are tough to come by, so this won't be easy for the Orange by any stretch. With that being said, I expect Syracuse to win this game by getting out in transition early and often. The Demon Deacons turn the ball over at a very high rate -- the highest rate in the conference, actually -- and that'll play right into the hands of the Orange, who force turnovers at an even higher rate.
Syracuse 64 - Wake Forest 61
A nooner down in Winston-Salem? What could go wrong? Well, a lot. Not enough that I think Syracuse is going to lose, of course. But almost enough. The Orange will need to avoid mistakes against a feisty Wake squad that's more than happy to take advantage. If SU can get solid production out of Malachi Richardson and Michael Gbinije, that's a good start. Holding Devin Thomas in check a little and keeping their big men out of foul trouble are more potential signs of a well-played game for the Orange.
How about you?