The Syracuse Orange (19-12, 8-10) begin the ACC Tournament on Tuesday this year, in a first round matchup with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (11-19, 4-14). These teams are familiar with one another, having split the season series at one apiece so far. If SU has any chance to make the NCAA Tournament, they have to beat the Deacs -- also, just for our sanity, they finally have to win an ACC Tournament game.
If you’re not at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, you can watch Syracuse vs. Wake on ESPNU or ACC Network Extra at 7 p.m. ET.
What does (some of) the TNIAAM staff think will happen in this game?
Syracuse 75, Wake Forest 69
The Orange are finally going to get there first ACC Tournament win, as the third round of this season series goes there way. It’ll be crucial for the Orange to limit Wake Forest’s success from the perimeter, but Tyus Battle will make the big plays when it matters most to send the Orange to the next round, where they will face the North Carolina Tar Heels in a rematch of their epic game from just a few weeks ago.
Syracuse 65, Wake Forest 62
While a lot of people might focus on the torrid 3-pt shooting Wake showed in the Dome, I think this game will be decided in the paint. The Syracuse centers both look to be playing with injuries and Doral Moore is averaging just shy of a double-double this season. If the Orange can contain his impact, they can extend on the outside shooters. When Syracuse has the ball they need to force it inside and avoid taking contested jumpers. It won’t be easy but the Orange will escape with their 1st ACC Tournament win and keep us all on Bubble Watch.
Wake Forest 70, Syracuse 66
It would only make sense for the high of the Clemson win to settle back down to the tightest bubble conversation Syracuse can possibly be in. There’s something about this Wake Forest team, they haven’t won much this year but they play Syracuse extremely well. The Deacons bodied the Orange’s defense in Winston-Salem and then almost pulled off a massive second-half comeback behind the most consecutive threes Jim Boeheim had ever seen in the Dome to that point, and he’s been here a few years. The Orange put it all together against Clemson with maybe its most intense and lockdown defensive performance all year, but the Tigers didn’t much offensive baggage at the zone. With Bryant Crawford nailing threes and Doral Moore catching lobs, this one concerns me enough to predict a loss and extra-stressful Selection Sunday.
Syracuse 69, Wake Forest 65
Nice. Syracuse gets its first ACC Tournament win since joining the conference and its first win at Barclays ever. This game should be much closer to the second meeting between these two teams. I suspect Bryant Crawford will still get his in this contest and Doral Moore will be a big -- quite literally -- problem for the Orange down low but the troika of Brissett, Howard and Battle will do enough offensively to leave the Demon Deacons in their wake. Get it? Wake?
Syracuse 66, Wake Forest 62
With four starters able to hit threes at a 35 percent or better clip, it’s definitely worrisome to have to see this Wake Forest team again. However, SU has much more to play for than the Deacons here, and I think the Clemson upset lit a fire under this Orange team. Syracuse likely starts slow, but the defense keeps them in it. Battle probably takes on the needed hero role late -- a dangerous game, but one we’ll have to ask of him. This thing could get off-track, however, if Doral Moore is able to get Syracuse’s bigs into some foul trouble.
Now it’s your turn...
What will be the outcome of the Syracuse vs. Wake Forest game?
This poll is closed
Syracuse wins and we finally won a goddamn ACC Tournament game!
Syracuse loses and let’s get acquainted with the NIT’s dumb rule changes