Teams: Syracuse Orange (11-9, 3-4) vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (12-7, 3-4)
Day & Time: Tuesday, January 24, 8 p.m. ET
Venue: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
Line: N/A just yet
TV: ACC Network Extra
Radio: Syracuse IMG Network, WAER 88.3, Sirius 93/XM 193
Wake Forest Blog: Blogger So Dear
Rivalry: 4-0, Syracuse
Current Streak: 4, Syracuse (duh)
First Meeting: DeShaun Williams scored 23 points as Syracuse beat Wake 74-67 in the Preseason NIT. They wouldn’t meet again until they were conferece-mates in the ACC.
Last Meeting: Syracuse went down to Winston-Salem and destroyed the Demon Deacons, 83-55 last January. Trevor Cooney had 25 points, Tyler Roberson had 13 rebounds and it was never really that close. Wake was bad, but not as bad as they looked against SU last year.
Head Coaches: SU: Jim Boeheim (41st Year, 996-351); Wake Forest: Danny Manning (3rd Year, 36-45)
Head Coach Bio: Manning was one of the most accomplished players in Kansas basketball history, winning a championship with the Jayhawks as a senior in 1988. After starting off his NBA career with the Los Angeles Clippers (he was the top pick in the draft), he bounced around quite a bit before retiring in 2003.
He’d serve on the staff at Kansas from 2003 to 2012, before getting the head coaching job at Tulsa. In two seasons, he led the Golden Hurricane to a 38-29 record, including a Conference USA Tournament title and NCAA Tournament berth in 2013-14.
This is his third year at Wake, and the first that appears to be taking some major strides forward. The Deacs went 13-19 in year one, and 11-19 in year two. Getting to 12 wins already feels like progress.
Last Year: Wake was a bad team that went 11-19 overall and just 2-16 in league play. They lost a lot of experience from the previous season and it showed as they were completely overwhelmed by ACC competition (except Boston College, of course).
Last Game: The Deacons won their second straight game, this time over in-state rival NC State. John Collins had 21 points and Keyshawn Woods added 18 on the game. It was Wake Forest’s first ACC road win in three years. That’s a lot of time between road wins.
"Fear Me, I've Killed Hundreds of Timelords": No one on this team shoots the three particularly well, but Austin Arians seems to fit the bill of “random guy that gets hot from outside vs. the Syracuse zone.” He’s 32-of-77 from beyond the arc this year (just over 41 percent), so while the sample size seems small... it definitely fits the bill for an out-of-nowhere performance. If you’d like a more conventional pick, Bryant Crawford scores about 15 points per game and should be able to slice through the shoddy defense at the top of the zone.
If Syracuse Wins: We’ll take what we can get. A 4-4 record in league play is something we can build on, even if none of those wins are particularly amazing.
If Syracuse Loses: Start making other plans for March, if you haven’t already.
Fun Fact No. 1: At current, Wake is one of a handful of (Division I) teams to face Syracuse four or more times without collecting a single win. The others: Lafayette (0-8), Siena (0-8), Northeastern (0-6), Kent State (0-5), Lehigh (0-4), Long Beach State (0-4), Maine (0-4), St. Francis N.Y. (0-4), TCU (0-4).
Fun Fact No. 2: If SU loses, it’ll be the program’s fourth ACC losing streak of three games or more since the joined the conference in 2013-14. Two of those came last year (including the longest one, a four-game streak), but things obviously worked out pretty well for that team anyway.