The Syracuse Orange (6-0) have started the season off pretty well, but that’s about to be put to the test in the Hoophall Miami Invitational. SU heads down to Miami to face the No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks (6-0) in a game that might just tell us how far the Orange can go this year. KU’s very good, clearly, and a win here would be an enormous resume boost for SU.
You can watch Syracuse vs. Kansas at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN this Saturday (or WatchESPN). Or if you’re in Florida, in-game attendance is also an option.
So what does the TNIAAM staff think will happen in this game?
Kansas 84, Syracuse 69
This looks like the end of the Orange unbeaten run. I think Kansas has too many weapons-especially on the perimeter. It will be a huge test for the improved Syracuse zone, but nothing I've seen so far convinces me that the Orange can keep up with Kansas. To grab this upset, Syracuse is going to need to hit a lot of 3s while limiting the Jayhawks shooters.
Kansas 74, Syracuse 66
I really want to call the upset here, but the Jayhawks are too lethal of a three point shooting team for me to do so. The Orange are going to make this one competitive, but a few big shots from Devonte' Graham are going to seal the deal in this one. If Syracuse does pull this one off, it will be because of a legendary performance from Tyus Battle, but Kansas has the athleticism to limit the Orange's star in this one.
Kansas 83, Syracuse 69
I️ think Syracuse can keep it close for a while but ultimately KU pulls away. Kansas has five guys averaging double figures, they won’t be terrified of the zone & their guards can shoot it. I’m not sure how healthy Tyus Battle really is either.
Kansas 86, Syracuse 74
While ‘Cuse has slipped by the Oaklands, Toledos and Texas Southerns of the world, Kansas has obliterated them, including a 43-point whooping of the last of those three. The Jayhawks rain down threes, with three of their leading five scorers shooting around or above 50% from outside. That’ll be devastating for a work-in-progress Orange zone. They are a devastating offensive force, with five averaging double-figures and even rank top 40 in keeping their opponents off the board. The only saving grace here is Tyus Battle, who continues to be a timely scorcher, and the neutral site. Beyond that it’s so hard to imagine Saturday going well, but that’s okay against the number 2 team in all of college basketball.
Kansas 82, Syracuse 68
Syracuse has been rebounding the ball at an incredible rate thus far this season. No doubt the glass will be key in this one as Kansas only has one true big in Udoka Azubuike and goes four-guard. Mitch Lightfoot can provide serviceable minutes to backup Azubuike, but it would be in Syracuse's best interest to get the latter in foul trouble and attack the glass. Kansas shoots the ball with the best of 'em and I just have this feeling that Devonte Graham is going to carve up the zone off the bounce. There's a tardy Thanksgiving joke in there somewhere. Graham is the unequivocal leader of this Kansas squad so Syracuse has to cut the snake off at the head. I think having a quick, smaller guard like Graham on Frank will give him fits. I'll also set the O/U at 2.5 for jaw-dropping plays from Lagerald Vick.
Kansas 85, Syracuse 71
There are just too many shooters for the Jayhawks, and that’s where the trouble will start for this young Syracuse team. Put to its first real test, the zone will be stretched thin to put a stop to the likely three-point barrage from Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk. And when that gets going, it should open up spaces elsewhere on the floor. SU’s rebounding has been great all year, but it also requires opposing teams to miss. KU hits 54 percent of its shots, which could negate our advantage on the boards — and ultimately derail our chances in this one.
Now it’s your turn...
What will be the outcome of the Syracuse vs. Kansas game?
This poll is closed
Syracuse wins by 10+ and WE’RE GOING TO THE FINAL FOUR GET OUT OF OUR WAY
Syracuse wins by 1-9 and we’re reasonably excited
Kansas wins by 1-9 and we learn some lessons along the way
Kansas wins by 10+ and let’s just hope it doesn’t affect the next game...