The Syracuse Orange play their final home game of the season today when they host the North Carolina State Wolfpack. The Orange need a win in order to maintain their status in the NCAA Tournament. With road games against North Carolina and Florida State looming, a loss here could seriously put that jeopardy. Can SU get it done? Let's find out.
Syracuse 78, NC State 71
This game is an absolute must win for Syracuse. NC State can be a tough team to beat, but their .500 record and low RPI would make them a very bad loss for an Orange team that can't afford one of those at this point. It's a must win on Senior Day, and I think that the Orange will come out and play like it.
Syracuse 71 – NC State 62
Coming off of two consecutive losses, and their NCAA tournament hopes hanging on for dear life, Syracuse doesn’t have the luxury to lose a third. With basically every single player not named Tyler Lydon struggling as of late, Syracuse desperately needs to get some sort of momentum early to re-gain confidence in their lost shot. Luckily NC State has given up an average of 83.4 points over their past five games. While Syracuse can’t take any game for granted, this is one that they both should, and need to, win.
Syracuse 72 - NC State 65
I think Syracuse handles NC State at home but Cat Barber has been playing superb of late and will give the Orange trouble. Abdul-Malik Abu will also give the Orange fits on the glass but I think Gbinije, Cooney and Richardson all bounce back to have solid outings on one week's rest. Syracuse gets just enough on the offensive end and will get the stops necessary to win at home 72-65.
Syracuse 78 - NC State 70
Cat Barber's going to get his points, but I think Syracuse will make him take a lot of shots to get them. It's important for the Orange to get some momentum back before heading on the road to end the season, and I look for Gbinije to lead the team in his final home game.
Syracuse 73 - NC State 70
The Orange have backed themselves into a bit of a corner and now absolutely have to win a few more games if they want to go into Selection Sunday with a good feeling. I think there's enough in this squad to get it done today since it's the "easiest" game left on the schedule. With the crowd behind them and the Senior Day push, I expect Gbinije and Cooney to perform well. And let's see if Tyler Roberson responds to Boeheim's push. NC State will make it a game but they should be able to get it done.