The Syracuse Orange (10-6, 2-1) have won two straight now -- both in surprising fashion against "better" opponents. On Tuesday night, we’ll see if they can make it three straight upsets when they head to Blacksburg, Va. to face the Virginia Tech Hokies (12-3, 1-2). Tech’s lost two straight since beating Duke to start ACC play, but they’re still a formidable opponent just one week removed from being in the top 25.
So what’s going to happen when the Orange and Hokies face off at 7 p.m. ET? The TNIAAM staff takes some guesses:
Virginia Tech 66, Syracuse 61
The last two games have shown a new side of the Orange, but I'm not convinced that this team is ready to win a tough road game. If the Hokies' Seth Allen is unable to play, it will help Syracuse's chances. This VaTech team isn't like the typical Buzz Williams team-they are much better offensively than defensively, so Syracuse will need to control the boards and limit turnovers to grab a huge ACC win.
Syracuse 75, Virginia Tech 69
The Orange seem to be in a groove and ready to make a statement. This will be a tough out as VT has looked legit lately. This will be another season changer for SU as they look to build their resume for a possible postseason bid. This game will be determined on the success Tyler Lydon has against the VT defense. It'll be a battle but look for a late three to close it out for the Orange.
Virginia Tech 72, Syracuse 60
With our without Seth Allen, Virginia Tech has a balanced team and will look to rebound after a two game slide at home. I expect LeDay and Chris Clarke to have big games on the boards while Syracuse will give up a good deal from the perimeter. Outside shooting is one of VT's strengths and defending the three had proven to be Syracuse's biggest weakness. Another big game from Andrew White isn't enough to get SU over the hump.
Syracuse 76, Virginia Tech 70
Virginia Tech has been solid this season. With victories over Duke and Michigan, the Hokies come into Tuesday’s game with a 12-3 (1-2) record. They’ve suffered two straight losses to NC State and Florida State, but were without senior guard Seth Allen (10.7 ppg) for the FSU loss. He’s still in concussion protocol and it’s still unknown if he plays on Tuesday. Not to mention, Syracuse is playing its best basketball of the season. This six-man rotation is really showing what SU is capable of.
Virginia Tech 76, Syracuse 71
Virginia Tech has scored on a lot of teams — especially those in major conferences. While Buzz Williams still has a ways to go to turn the Hokies’ defense around, the offense is firing on all cylinders, and that could be problematic for the Orange. Yes, SU’s found its sea legs with the zone over the last two games, but not against consistent shooters like Tech has. Ahmed Hill’s three-point prowess terrifies me. The fact that this is on the road also spells let down in my mind.
What about you?