The Syracuse Orange (8-6, 0-1) have been in a bit of a tailspin of late. Wednesday night’s matchup may not help things much, unfortunately. SU, which has lost six of the last 10, hosts the Miami Hurricanes (11-2, 1-0), a team on a seven-game winning streak. A loss by the Orange would further underline what we already know about this team. A win would certainly create some confusion — and some welcome hope, too.
So what’s going to happen tonight? The TNIAAM takes some guesses:
Miami 62, Syracuse 54
This game could be a repeat of the Syracuse-UConn game from a month ago. The Hurricanes offense ranks in the lower portion of the ACC in terms of shooting, and they are last in assists. It seems as though most of their offense comes from isolation, which might help the Orange hide some of their defensive woes. Miami is a strong rebounding team, so if Syracuse is going to find a way to get their 1st ACC win, they will need to control the boards. I think this game will be ugly, with Miami surviving on the road.
Syracuse 76, Miami 74
For some reason this game smells like a classic. The Orange are in a hole no one saw coming and post season play is starting to look unlikely. The Orange still have something to play for and that's pride. This one is going to come down to the wire but look for the ending to be the main positive from the Orange this season.
Miami 83, Syracuse 71
Syracuse will have its work cut out on Wednesday. Miami brings a solid team to the Carrier Dome that was victorious a year ago despite only scoring 17 first-half points. The Hurricanes don’t shoot the 3 as well as other teams SU has faced this season, which is somewhat of a relief for the Orange. If Syracuse has any shot, it’ll have to slow down Ja’Quan Newton and Davon Reed, both of who score over 14.5 points per game. Reed shoots just under 40 percent from 3, while Newton is a little less effective at 33 percent. It’s hard to say which Syracuse team will show up, but at the end of the day they’re 0-6 against P5 teams.
Miami 72, Syracuse 60
Miami, like Syracuse, lost its fifth-year senior starting backcourt but has weathered the storm much better than the Orange. Ja'Quan Newton is an all-ACC type of player and will lead the Hurricanes to victory on the road. Miami doesn't have a lot of guys who can bury shots from deep but is a very good defensive team. Expect Jim Larranaga's team to limit the Syracuse offense and score enough to get the W on the road.
Miami 88, Syracuse 70
I’m bringing back my old reverse jinx from years ago here. Miami’s offense is formidable, and their defense is among the better units in the country (though yes, it is early). Against a Syracuse team struggling on both ends, a matchup with the Hurricanes appears to be a nightmare scenario. Davon Reed is likely to light the Orange up from three, and the rest should fall into place from there. The only way this ends differently is if point guard play improves, but... I’m not buying it against a very good Miami squad.
What about you?