This article would typically appear tomorrow, but since National Signing Day will already have the site pretty busy, we figured why not move this 24 hours earlier?
The Syracuse Orange (13-9, 5-4) are starting to show some signs of life on this season after two straight quality wins -- including an upset over FSU. Their next hurdle is winning a road game for the first time all year. They’ll visit the NC State Wolfpack (14-8, 3-6) on Wednesday evening.
What’s going to happen when the Orange and Pack face off at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday? The TNIAAM staff takes some guesses:
NC State 75, Syracuse 71
Dennis Smith Jr. is going to be the player that Syracuse needs to contain if they want to grab their 1st road win of the season. The Orange need to keep Smith from taking over the game with his scoring and passing ability. The Wolfpack will look to push the pace, so once again rebounding will be important. Syracuse has improved in this area as all five players have committed to helping out on the boards. The poor NC State defense makes this a winnable game, but I need to see the Orange win a road game before I can actually pick them.
Syracuse 76, NC State 70
Honestly, who even knows with these two teams? Both Syracuse and NC State have been impossible to figure out all season long. You think Syracuse is inconsistent, take a look at the Wolfpack's last three games: lose by five to Wake Forest at home, win by two over Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium and lose by 25 to Louisville on the road. Thanks to a confidence-building win over Florida State (which led to a fun and well-deserved court storming), give me Syracuse in a nail-biter as the Orange FINALLY get their first road win of the season.
Syracuse 82, NC State 79
This is going to be a classic, but no where near the kind of game the Orange had against FSU. NCSU is a talented team with a guard that may find himself in the top five of this year's draft in Dennis Smith Jr. The Orange have been in a groove as of late, winning there last two contests. This is going to be a fast paced battle, but Tyler Lydon know's what's at stake and will hit a late three to seal it. The Orange have struggled on the road this season, but this team is taking it one game at a time, and a road win tomorrow is a must.
Syracuse 73, NC State 70
Syracuse continued to carry momentum forward, winning its first game away from home. Dennis Smith will have a monster game, but Tyler Lydon and Andrew White carry the weight to lift the Orange over NC State.
Syracuse 77, NC State 71
Syracuse has had its struggles on the road this season, and nobody knows how the team will come out on Wednesday. I do believe that Saturday gave this team a boost in confidence it hasn’t felt all season, and it will help them moving forward. SU needs Tyus Battle to bounce back, and the likes of Andrew White and Tyler Lydon to stay hot. If John Gillon plays half the game he did on Saturday, SU should win.
Syracuse 78, NC State 76
After the high of the previous game, I’m expecting a bit of a nail-biter. Syracuse proved they could win a close one vs. Wake Forest last week, so this should be more of the same for the Orange. Expect the teams to stay close throughout, with SU’s leaders -- Tyler Lydon and Andrew White III -- finding a way to make the needed shots (and stops) to wrap this up in the final minute.
What about you?