After perfect outings in the first two conference games, the TNIAAM team all got it wrong when the Syracuse Orange fell to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at home on Saturday. The shocking loss showcased stagnant offense once again for the Orange, and now they head into Cameron Indoor Stadium to take on the No. 1 team in the country: the Duke Blue Devils.
Syracuse is going to need a near-perfect outing to take down Zion Williamson and crew, but let’s see what the “experts” have to say before we count the Orange out.
Duke 83, Syracuse 57
Sure, it would be very Syracuse-like to beat the number one ranked team in the country after falling to Georgia Tech by double digits at home, but this Duke team is too dominant for me to see the Orange shocking them on the road. Syracuse’s offense has failed to show any consistency this year, and that’ll be the downfall for them once again against the Blue Devils. The Orange aren’t going to be able keep Duke out of transition, and the Blue Devils are going to go on offensive runs that are going to be too much to match.
Duke 79, Syracuse 68
Duke doesn’t have a great shooting team, so I expect the zone to give them a little trouble and keep the game somewhat close. The scariest part of this game is that Syracuse is turning the ball over and Duke is punishing teams in transition. It will be interesting to see how the Orange try and bounce back from Saturday night, but they can’t rely on taking a lot of 3s and expect to win.
Duke 80, Syracuse 55
It would be so Syracuse to drop a game it was supposed to win against Georgia Tech on Saturday only to turn around and improbably win a game against the No. 1 team in the country in their own venue. Just when you think you’ve figured Syracuse basketball out, it does something unexpected which is exactly why beating Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium would make so much sense that it doesn’t make sense.
But I reasonably can’t see that happening unless Zion Williamson’s eye is so messed up that he can’t play, R.J. Barrett continues to chuck up shots of the bad variety and Cam Reddish reverts to the mean after his breakout game against Florida State that concluded with a game-winning three. I mean, Syracuse wasn’t able to stop Georgia Tech’s offense at home and offensively looked out of sorts against the Yellow Jackets zone. Look for Duke to try to get out in transition and run before Syracuse’s zone can get set and in the half court, watch your head as Zion catches lobs over the top. Some variation of Jack White and Alex O’Connell probably breaks out and shoots it well from three and Javin DeLaurier probably has a career day on the boards.
Duke 78, Syracuse 61
Maybe I could’ve convinced myself of a closer game before Saturday’s Georgia Tech loss, but this Orange team just doesn’t have enough offensive firepower to stick with Duke — no matter how well Syracuse may play on the defensive end. Shooting fewer threes and driving the lane would potentially help make this a bit more watchable on SU’s end, but not enough to pull the upset. Duke’s just too fast and too talented to drop one to a reeling club at Cameron Indoor.
Who will win the Syracuse vs. Duke game?
This poll is closed
The Orange, and no one remembers Saturday’s embarrassment.
The Blue Devils, and it’s a different kind of embarrassment this time around.