The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team (11-4, 2-0) takes on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (9-6, 1-1) in the Carrier Dome Saturday night at 6 p.m. ET, as the Orange look to move to 3-0 in ACC play. TNIAAM remained perfect in their predictions for conference games, so let’s see if the “experts” can do it again this time around.
Syracuse 65, Georgia Tech 59
Syracuse is going to need to find ways to keep its offense rolling as the team will have its work cut out for it: Georgia Tech ranks 18th in the country in defensive efficiency. However, like Clemson, the Yellow Jackets struggle shooting the deep ball. GT played the likes of Virginia Tech and St. John’s down to the wire already this season, but the Orange are the better team and should roll.
Syracuse 69, Georgia Tech 57
This is a prime opportunity for the Orange to have a letdown game heading into their road game against the Duke Blue Devils, but I see the Orange taking care of business in this one thanks to a few late shots from Tyus Battle. If the Orange are able to consistently generate second chance opportunities, then this one may lack the nerves were used to seeing.
Syracuse 61, Georgia Tech 54
The bottom two offenses in the ACC playing in an early game in front of a subdued crowd has all the makings for a muddled mess for viewers. Syracuse has shown some flashes of offense lately but those have been followed by periods where it looks like last season all over again. The Orange should be able to control the boards and make enough shots to get to 3-0 before their visit to Duke.
Syracuse 68, Georgia Tech 58
Georgia Tech lost a ton of production in Josh Okogie, Ben Lammers and Tadric Jackson and in turn has relied heavily on Jose Alvarado to lead this team. It’s hard for me to envision a scenario where GT comes into the Carrier Dome and disrupts Syracuse enough to make this a competitive game. I look for the Orange to keep building momentum as it begins to turn a corner and cruise to a double-digit victory before heading down to Durham to take on Duke.
Syracuse 61, Georgia Tech 59
I’m tempted to believe that the Wreck playing at a snail’s pace as well helps Syracuse to some extent. The key to winning this rock fight, however, will be efficiency. Georgia Tech can hang with better opponents — see their non-conference schedule (and recent game vs. Virginia Tech) for numerous examples — thought hey haven’t been able to close the deal. Let’s just hope that Frank Howard’s improvement continues, and two of Tyus Battle, Oshae Brissett and Elijah Hughes have a strong offensive game. This will be closer than you’d like.
Syracuse 64, Georgia Tech 55
Get ready for another Clemson game. Fouls will fly, many shots will miss the mark and two sensational defenses likely grind this one into the ground. For the Orange, sliding down the KenPom offensive rating rankings (started in the 30s, now 76th), this style may be conducive to their success.
“That was every game last year,” Tyus Battle said after Clemson. “So I think we’re used to it.”
Syracuse ranks in the top 100 in limiting opponent free throw attempts, which will be important as holding advantages in that category continues to be a vital part of their attack. Their efficiency from two, now above 50 percent, ranks within the top 200. The offense regressed in some ways against Clemson, but slid by on a dominant defense effort. That should be enough here as well. The Yellow Jackets only rank nine spots above SU in points per game.
This is a dangerous opponent though, one that held Tennessee to 66 on the road and lost by three to Virginia Tech on Wednesday in a 52-49 game.
Who will win the Syracuse vs. Georgia Tech game?
This poll is closed
The Orange, and we head into Duke with our head’s held high!
The Yellow Jackets, and all of a sudden we get even more nervous for Duke.