The Syracuse Orange (20-12, 8-10) live to fight another day in Brooklyn after winning their ACC Tournament opener against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, 73-64 (full recap, if you missed it). That win delivers us to round two, and a very difficult game against the North Carolina Tar Heels (22-9, 11-7). If SU gets past the Heels, they could very well lock up an NCAA Tournament bid.
If you’re not at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, you can watch Syracuse vs. UNC on ESPN2 or ACC Network Extra at 9:30 p.m. ET.
What does (some of) the TNIAAM staff think will happen in this game?
UNC 71, Syracuse 62
After getting their first ACC Tournament win against Wake Forest, the fire power that the Tar Heels have will be too much for the Orange to overcome. Look for it to be a back and forth battle, but a late run led by Luke Maye will be the difference as the Orange go into isolation mode and struggle to score when it matters most.
UNC 77, Syracuse 67
The Orange showed their mettle as they held off Wake Forest down the stretch, but I don’t expect them to be able to get past the Tar Heels. In the last meeting, Theo Pinson led the way for UNC and his ability to make plays against the zone will once again be the key. If Syracuse wants to pull off the upset, they need to limit turnovers and do a better job of shot selection. The Orange have to continue to drive the ball and not settle for 3 point shots off isolation plays.
UNC 71, Syracuse 65
UNC came out firing against Syracuse in the first half of the first meeting between these two teams just weeks ago and while the Orange clamped down in the second half, I’m led to believe that UNC will come out ready to play. Look for the Tar Heels to work the ball inside out and shred the zone for open looks. Syracuse will have the honor of sweating it out on Selection Sunday for a third straight year.
UNC 80, Syracuse 73
Syracuse had one of its better shooting games of the season last night, hitting over 54 percent from the floor and near-80 percent of 29 free throws. Those numbers are going to be tough to replicate, even against a UNC team that doesn’t play amazing defense. The Heels also have enough size to slow SU’s secret weapon from last night: the 1-2 combo of Paschal Chukwu and Marek Dolezaj inside. I think the Orange can pull this upset — they almost did last time. But the Heels are well-rested and have too much talent.
Now it’s your turn...
What will be the outcome of the Syracuse vs. UNC game?
This poll is closed
Syracuse wins and YOU WILL NOT DENY US FROM AN NCAA TOURNAMENT BID
Syracuse loses and it’s going to be a long few days ‘til Sunday