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Syracuse vs. Boston College: Previewing the Eagles

Can SU get back in the win column?

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Boston College Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange (10-7, 2-2) return home to the Carrier Dome on Saturday to host Boston College (9-8, 2-2) for a 4 p.m. ET tip off.

In the first matchup between the two teams, Syracuse’s 2-3 zone was horrendous, and BC couldn’t miss. The Eagles shot over 60 percent from three-point range, and won by a score of 96-81. It was BC’s first ACC victory since 2014-15, as the team went 0-18 in 2015-16. The Eagles snapped a 20-game ACC losing streak dating back to the 2014-15 season.

After defeating Syracuse to open up league play, Boston College then lost to Wake Forest by 13 points and Duke by nine before beating North Carolina State, 74-66. After looking through BC’s offensive numbers throughout the season, it’s rather clear the Eagles hit their ceiling against the Orange on January 1.

As for Syracuse, the Orange went on to defeat Miami and Pittsburgh in back-to-back games at the Dome, but suffered a setback at Virginia Tech on Tuesday, 83-73. The point guard play, along with poor interior defense were the main issues in the 10-point loss. Sophomore Tyler Lydon appeared to injury himself on a jumper early in the game, and finished with just two points on 1-of-5 shooting.

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Boston College
Syracuse forward Tyler Lydon (20) lays the ball over the reach of Boston College Eagles forward A.J. Turner (11) during the first half at Silvio O. Conte Forum.
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Ky Bowman went for 30 points in the first matchup against the Orange, which was just three points shy of his career-high. The Eagles hit 16 3-pointers, which tied a Syracuse record for most 3-balls given up in one game.

Boston College will look to have similar ball movement on Saturday — as it worked so well in the first matchup. BC consistently find the open man for a 3-pointer, and finished with 28 assists on the day. The Orange had just 26 made field goal attempts all afternoon.

Syracuse did put up 81 points, which seems all well and good until you re-watch the game and see how pathetic the 2-3 zone was. The energy level was poor, the rotations were nonexistent and time after time the Orange was beat down court after one of its own made baskets — many of those led to open BC 3’s, and some of the time a conservative layup. Either way, it wasn’t a recipe for success for Syracuse.

I will say this — nothing could go right for the Orange that day. If you remember, this was the game where Lydon tipped in a layup into SU’s own basket, and Bowman grabbed a rebound from his basket and then assisted a layup. It just wasn’t SU’s afternoon.

The game will be televised on Regional Sports Network. Check your local listings to find the exact channel.