The Syracuse Orange (15-8) have a better record than the Virginia Tech Hokies (12-10) overall but when it comes to ACC record, they're 5-5 and VT is 4-5. The Orange would love to separate themselves a bit from the ACC pack and a win Tuesday would help that cause. With five wins in their last six conference games, SU will try to keep the momentum going and inch closer to the NCAA Tournament.
Can they win another ACC contest? Let's see what everyone thinks...
Syracuse 75 - Virginia Tech 66
Here's what I'm pretty sure we'll see on Tuesday night in the Dome, a close game and a super sweaty Buzz Williams. Whatever you do, don't take a drink every time you see Buzz out on the court during play. For all his sideline hysterics, Buzz's teams always play hard and this Hokies squad is no exception. Look for them to hit some 3s late in the shot clock and scrap the whole game, but I think Syracuse digs in and finds a way to take advantage down the stretch.
Syracuse 76 - Virginia Tech 63
Talk about two teams trending in opposite directions. While Syracuse has won five of their last six games, Virginia Tech is currently in the midst of a four game losing streak. Don't expect anything to change Tuesday as Syracuse's 2-3 zone should be able to slow down the Hokies' offense, and Michael Gbinije, Malachi Richardson, and Trevor Cooney should be able to exploit a Virginia Tech defense that has given up an average of 81.3 points per game over their last 10 contests.
Syracuse 68 - Virginia Tech 60
Quick turnaround, third game in seven days, against a Buzz Williams team? Yeah, this one will probably be a bit frustrating. I'm expecting a game played way closer than the talent on each team should dictate, and think we'll manage to pull away late, but will sweat the second half out. There's also a fair chance of extra-salty Boeheim, but he may have gotten his scheduling gripes out of his system last week. Based on the circumstances, I'll be happy to get a win however we can, and get to the extended break with another win under our belt.
Syracuse 72 - Virginia Tech 61
Virginia Tech is led by USF transfer Zach LeDay. He'll certainly get up double digit shot attempts, so it will be important for Syracuse to not give him any open looks and to keep him off glass. Guards Seth Allen and Justin Bibbs can get hot but I think Syracuse will have no issue contesting their shots from outside. Allen is coming off a 5-5 shooting night from downtown against Pitt and Bibbs shoots 50.5 percent from deep. Bibbs scored 22 and 19 against Syracuse in their two meetings last season so Syracuse should be wary, but in the end Syracuse will win on a solid defensive effort and by controlling the tempo. Big nights from Gbinije and Richardson allow the Orange to cruise to victory.
Syracuse 80 - Virginia Tech 74
Buzz Williams often has Syracuse's zone on the ropes (unless it's the NCAA Tournament) so he should be able to keep the Hokies close. But I think we see a repeat of the Georgia Tech game where it's close and you get that pain in your chest that comes with too-close Syracuse games and then eventually the Orange will be able to pull away when it matters.
Now it's your turn...