The Syracuse Orange (12-9, 4-4) are coming off a nice win over Wake Forest, but the Deacons are not SU’s next opponent. SU’s next opponent, the Florida State Seminoles (18-3, 6-2) are a top-10 team, but also got blown out by Georgia Tech on Wednesday. So... it’s possible Syracuse can win big, even if it’s not probable.
What’s going to happen when the Orange and ‘Noles face off at noon ET on Saturday? The TNIAAM staff takes some guesses:
Florida State 82, Syracuse 70
I really want to say the Orange are going to shock the nation and win this game, but they aren't. FSU is plain and simply too good for the Orange to our score. If the Orange get cold from deep they'll lack any inside scoring opportunities and allow FSU to go on a run. It'll be fun to watch a team like FSU play, but by the second half Orange fans won't be saying that anymore.
Florida State-79, Syracuse 64
Blame Georgia Tech for this one. After facing six straight ranked opponents, and going 5-1, Florida State looked lifeless in a blowout loss at the hands of the Yellow Jackets. Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton, however, will make sure that doesn’t happen again when his team visits the Carrier Dome on Saturday. Instead of this potentially being a trap game for Florida State, the Seminoles will now most likely use it as a bounce-back win and show that the Georgia Tech loss was simply a fluke – and, unfortunately for SU, they most certainly have the talent to do so. Led by sophomore Dwayne Bacon and freshman Jonathan Isaac, Florida State averages 84.2 points per game, tied for No. 17 in the country. While Syracuse showed some life against Wake Forest, don’t confuse the 12-8 Demon Deacons for No. 6 Florida State.
Syracuse 71, Florida State 70
No more #DISLOYAL! Hear me out here. Florida State is coming off a demoralizing loss at Georgia Tech. FSU also doesn't shoot a great deal of threes, and it doesn't shoot the long ball at an impressive clip, either (Syracuse's weakness). If Syracuse can hold its own on the glass, I think the Orange ride momentum to a victory on Saturday. Easier said than done.
Florida State 83, Syracuse 67
Syracuse will look to make it two in a row, but I find this task too tall for the Orange. I understand Florida State is coming off of its worst loss of the season, but that just gives them more motivation to bounce back to prove they're for real.
Florida State 83, Syracuse 74
Jonathan Isaac alone may be able to dismantle the zone, as Syracuse lacks the size inside to stop him. If not him, Dwayne Bacon’s certainly up to the task, too. The Orange will put up a fight, admittedly, but it’s too much to ask for two or three players to guide the entire ship against a top-10 team like they did against Wake. FSU can hit enough shots to get past the Orange. It’ll be up to SU to keep up (and make a few stops, too).
What about you?