The Syracuse Orange (17-13, 9-8) close out their regular season schedule on Saturday by hosting the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (17-13, 8-9). Both teams are hanging around the bubble, and Tech took the first meeting this season, so yeah... a win’s sort of necessary.
So which NCAA Tournament hopeful pulls out a win before heading into ACC Tournament week? The TNIAAM makes its picks:
Syracuse 75, Georgia Tech 68
Both teams are desperate for wins, but the Orange have had nearly a week off to rest and prepare for the Tech defense. Being back in the Dome and in front of a large crowd should be enough to push Syracuse to a victory. I think this is a game where Andrew White gets back on track from the outside and where seniors Dajuan Coleman and Tyler Roberson contribute some positive minutes to help contain Ben Lammers in the paint.
Syracuse 74, Georgia Tech 65
Syracuse may have lost to Georgia Tech on the road two weeks ago 71-65, but look for the Orange to redeem itself this time around at home. The Orange shot just 36 percent from the field and 27 percent from three-point range and I don't expect Syracuse to duplicate those shooting woes on Saturday. As I have said numerous times in my predictions, no road game in the ACC is easy, and Syracuse will use its home court advantage to end it season on a high note and achieve double-digit conference wins. Expect the typical "Syracuse win" script in this one: jump out to an early lead, relinquish that lead shortly after halftime, regain the lead midway through the second half and then hold off a late Georgia Tech comeback attempt.
Syracuse 74, Georgia Tech 63
In Syracuse's Senior Game, the Orange's transfer seniors will go off. Andrew White III will find his rhythm again, and John Gillon will take over when it matters most. The Orange will close this one out with a late run, but look for it to be interesting for the most part. Some late hot shooting from deep will help Syracuse put the Yellow Jackets away as the Orange head into tournament play.
Syracuse 68, Georgia Tech 62
I'll take Syracuse in this one by a slim margin with the Carrier Dome being the x-factor. SU has only lost one home game in ACC play and it don't think GT will change that. Tech is phenomenal on the defensive end (5th in Ken Pom) so I expect this one to be a Battle but Syracuse makes winning plays at home to finish 10-8 in the conference.
Syracuse 77, Georgia Tech 69
Saturday’s game has a ton of implications for both teams — including a first-round ACC Tournament BYE on the line. With the game being at home, and SU having so much to gain and lose in this game — I’ll take the Orange. Senior Day’s are always special, and SU will honor five. Should be a great day at the Dome.
Syracuse 71, Georgia Tech 66
Syracuse has played well at home, while Tech has struggled on the road. The teams were close last time, with some poor shooting by the Orange making all the difference, despite a late comeback attempt. This SU team seems to understand "the moment" and when they really need wins (especially at the Dome). They won’t let this one slip by, even if they make things a little interesting toward the end.
What about you?