The Syracuse Orange (5-2) and UConn Huskies (3-4) tip off at 7 p.m. ET tonight at Madison Square Garden. If you’re not attending in person, you can watch the proceedings on ESPN2.
While Syracuse’s struggles this season are more recent (lost two of their last three), UConn’s are a season-long trend so far. The Huskies have lost a number of players to injury already, and have suffered embarrassing defeats to Wagner and Northeastern. They’ve also struggled with the likes of Loyola Marymount, Chaminade and most recently, Boston University. So yeah, it’s not going well...
For more on the historic parts of this matchup, see here. But what do we think is going to happen tonight? We asked some of the TNIAAM staff for their thoughts.
Syracuse 65, UConn 51
Syracuse kept it interesting in their six point win over North Florida on Saturday. The new starting lineup gives the offense more of an offensive identity with Tyus Battle's ability to create for himself and others. Andrew White III is coming off one of his best, if not best, shooting performances ever, and all Orange fans can think of is if Tyler Lydon can get going. Despite the records, this is as big a game as it gets, as the rivalry is renewed at its most important location. Back on the road the Orange are looking for a crucial win, and this time, they won't let Syracuse fans down.
Syracuse 78, UConn 69
Let's get this out of the way: UConn is REALLY bad this year, at least so far. The Huskies are 3-4, and their only win by more than a basket was against Chaminade. The other two? Loyola Marymount and BU. On paper, even our somewhat struggling Orange should have no problem dispatching of UConn right now.
However... Rivalry game and whatnot. Bad feelings from last year's Garden game against a rival that was in the tank for a year, etc, etc. I think this one actually stays close, and SU pulls away in the last two minutes. Wins over UConn are always good, though, so I'll sign for it.
Syracuse 66, UConn 54
I fully expect Syracuse to have a convincing win in this one. Connecticut lost two of its better players to injury and frankly, I don't know how much of the scoring load Jalen Adams and Rodney Purvis can handle.
Syracuse 74, UConn 66
This is closer than I’d like it to be. And if you’d asked me about this game a week ago, I’d have given you a resounding, 20-point Orange victory. But Syracuse has struggled on the boards of late, and despite a host of capable options, seems uncertain who’s going to carry the scoring load. SU can handle an undermanned Huskies squad, but it won’t be super simple. The Orange take the lead for good shortly after the half, then hang on late to closer out UConn.
Now it’s your turn...