The Syracuse Orange (17-8, 6-6) have won two straight and played themselves firmly back into the NCAA Tournament conversation. To keep that going, they’ll need a win against the NC State Wolfpack (16-9, 6-6) at the Carrier Dome tonight. For some reason the ACC hates Valentine’s Day and put this game at 9 p.m. ET. “Thanks,” Swoff...
You can watch Syracuse vs. NC State on your local ACC Network affiliate or ACC Network Extra, if you’re not at the Dome.
So what does (some of) the TNIAAM staff think will happen in this game?
Syracuse 67, NC State 64
I’m going to give the Orange the edge due to being at home but this is a balanced NC State team as they have four guys scoring in double figures this season. Syracuse will need to contain Omar Yurtseven without giving up open looks to Alerik Freeman and Braxton Beverly. When the Orange have the ball it’s going to be up to Frank Howard and Tyus Battle to use their size advantage to score and create for others. I think they will win their matchup and get another close home win.
Syracuse 74, NC State 71
This will be another tough win for the Orange at home, but this is the time of year where they need to start building their resume to get them off the bubble. It’ll be the Syracuse backcourt that pulls it out for the Orange, as a nail biting finish goes in their favor.
Syracuse 74, NC State 66
Between the instability injuries have caused, Syracuse is starting to find itself as a team. Tyus Battle’s breaking loose into the 30s, Paschal Chukwu’s finding spots to get involved, even making the “play of the game” inside to beat Wake Forest and Oshae Brissett is feeling confident about his three-point shot with his percentage growing into ACC play. That combined with spurts of availability from Bourama Sidibe, good for a few finishes inside, and Marek Dolezaj getting more comfortable playing on the wings and high post offensively have the Orange offense actually looking capable. The last two wins have come on offense, with enough defensive stops in the bag to get by. That should continue against the Wolfpack, a team that struggles with consistency itself save for some big upset wins. With six games remaining, Syracuse’s sense of urgency seems to be increasing and I bet it’ll result in another close win tonight.
NC State 72, Syracuse 66
This game has huge implications for Syracuse’s NCAA Tournament hopes but State has one of the better offenses in the conference. I think the Omer Yurtseven presents a huge challenge for a limited Matthew Moyer-less front line and State emerges with a win.
NC State 77, Syracuse 71
The good: NC State can’t play any defense. The bad: NC State also has several options to draw fouls in the paint against SU’s slim group of forwards, and can hit from three. If Syracuse had been able to run past Wake Forest on Sunday, I’d be far more optimistic about this game today. But even with the win over the Deacs, it did shed some light on some potential struggles with the team’s lack of depth and some struggles covering the three-point line against better deep shooting teams. The Orange are close the whole way... just not close enough.
Now it’s your turn...
What will be the outcome of the Syracuse vs. NC State game?
This poll is closed
Syracuse wins and we can keep being positive!
Syracuse loses and now we DEFINITELY need a big upset or two.