The TNIAAM team all missed on the matchup against the Monarchs, and, well, so did most people outside of Norfolk, Va. Let’s see what the “experts” have to say about this crucial matchup against the Bulls.
Syracuse 74, Buffalo 71
Syracuse is a four-point favorite. Syracuse is at home. This isn’t the end of the world, folks. I’m just here to tell you that, no matter the result, a December matchup with a top-15 team is not a must-win. That stat about “no SU team with more than three non-conference losses has ever made the tournament” — that stat is garbage. Not enough precedent in the ACC, 20 games follow this one with plenty of time to pick up big wins. It’s going to be awesome when Syracuse wins, though. X-Factor: Elijah Hughes
Buffalo 69, Syracuse 64
I’m usually mister positive with my predictions, but after falling to the Monarchs, I just can’t pick the Orange to pull off the upset. Sure, this team is as unpredictable as it gets, and they could get hot from deep and prove my prediction wrong, but I just don’t see this offense fixing itself in time for this game. I think Tyus Battle will keep the Orange in it late, but he won’t get the help he needs, leading to Syracuse’s second straight loss.
Buffalo 70, Syracuse 66
We’ve become accustomed to the Orange responding from the most precarious performances with their biggest wins over the past few years, and that includes this underwhelming season with a headliner win over Ohio State. Now playing No. 14 Buffalo, their third ranked opponent in 11 games, its difficult to lean on their history of bouncing back alone. We’re watching a maddeningly inefficient offense paired with a defense that still holds games in the 60-70 point range, but cannot suppress opponents to the maximum level they need on their worst offensive days. The Old Dominion loss was a new low on that end for this Tyus Battle-led group, with his 8-point burst the only redeeming quality from the entire 40-minute effort. This Buffalo team, 10-0 and the best story in college basketball, enters the Carrier Dome knowing they nearly beat Syracuse a year ago, this year they’re loaded with the offense to do it (averaging 85 points per game) and held their past three opponents to 65 points or less. The Bulls’ biggest wins are on the road this season, and they’re well positioned to add another one on Tuesday.
Syracuse 79, Buffalo 76
After Saturday’s loss it seems like Syracuse shouldn’t be the pick here, but there’s something about this team that doesn’t make sense at all. The Bulls aren’t going to slow the tempo and I think that will help this Orange group which has the athletes to do damage in transition. It’s time for Jim Boeheim to find more minutes for Marek Dolezaj and Jalen Carey and getting right back onto the court after a disappointing loss should be good for this veteran Syracuse team.
Syracuse 71, Buffalo 68
On the preseason pod, I predicted that Buffalo would come into the Carrier Dome ranked and walk away with a win. That prediction looks pretty good compared to my others this season. There’s no way any of us on the TNIAAM staff have a good record on predictions this season, and there’s absolutely no rhyme or reason to pick Syracuse to win tonight after what we saw Saturday. So that’s exactly why I’m going to pick Syracuse to win. Look, Buffalo is the real deal—Massinburg and Harris are walking buckets while Jayvon Graves is shooting it well from deep and Nick Perkins is a lefty at center that can stretch it, too. Davonta Jordan and Dontay Caruthers should give the Syracuse backcourt fits given their defensive prowess. So therefore Syracuse wins. Yup. There you have it.
Buffalo 78, Syracuse 70
Call me a #disloyalidiot if you must, but the Orange offense is broken, and they can’t rebound all that well despite their size. That likely spells disaster against a Buffalo team that scores points in bunches, plays with some pace, and has at least four legitimate shooters on the team. SU will battle a bit, of course, and may even have a lead at some point in the second half. But the Bulls are legit, and this SU squad is stuck in neutral until Frank Howard is healthier.
Who will win the Syracuse vs. Buffalo game?
This poll is closed
Syracuse, and we can start to forget about Saturday’s loss!
Buffalo, and the questions remain regarding the Orange.