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Syracuse men’s basketball vs. North Florida: TNIAAM predictions & poll

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Who’s THE NORTH in this situation?

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Georgetown Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team (6-5, 1-1) is looking to make it two straight at home heading into a week-long break. And while SU won a couple days ago vs. Oakland, you could certainly take a couple concerns from that contest.

Now we’ll see if those get addressed against the North Florida Ospreys (7-6, 0-0). UNF shoots threes like it’s their job, and Carter Hendricksen could be a bit of a problem. On the other hand, the Ospreys are one of the worst defenses in the country, allowing over 76 points per game. If you’re looking for a bright spot, that’s potentially it.

Before the game tips off on Saturday at 6 p.m. ET on ACC Network, we asked the TNIAAM staff to predict what they think will happen.

Austin Lamb

Syracuse 82, North Florida 61

Regardless of Syracuse’s expected margin of victory, Saturday’s game against North Florida should be a higher scoring contest than last Wednesday’s win over Oakland. The Ospreys rank 37th in adjusted tempo and 270th in defensive efficiency per KenPom. If the Orange take advantage of this and knock down their shots, it could be a blowout. Coming off a poor shooting night for both Buddy Boeheim and Joe Girard III, I expect this to happen, along with Elijah Hughes scoring 20-plus again.

Kevin Wall

Syracuse 79, North Florida 77

The good news for the Orange is that the Ospreys enter the game with the 272nd ranked Defense according to KenPom. The bad news is that they shoot 40% from 3 and should enjoy the porous Syracuse zone. If you’re one the fans who likes to see a lot of 3-point attempts then this should be a fun one for you. I think this is going to be very close throughout but Syracuse does enough rebounding to survive with a very close victory and a Marek Dolezaj double-double.

James Szuba

Syracuse 82, North Florida 59

Syracuse fans spend an inordinate amount of time standing and clapping, Elijah Hughes goes out and gives buckets and Jim Boeheim gets mad about something in the most forgettable game of the season. Syracuse remains steadfast in its mission to play games decided by double-digit margins.

John Cassillo

Syracuse 81, North Florida 76

You want a single-digit game? You’re getting a single-digit game. UNF starts off the game hot from outside before cooling down enough to let Syracuse’s own quality shooting win the advantage in this one. If Ospreys’ forward Carter Hendricksen can get going inside, this one could get pretty problematic. But as long as North Florida sticks to the script, SU has enough on offense — and they don’t have enough on defense — for an Orange win.

Bobby Manning

Syracuse 80, North Florida 72

Shoot. All week I talked about how Syracuse hasn’t lost a bad game yet. Then Oakland walked into the Dome talking all that trash, with a fairly-accurate list on the Orange’s tendencies up-and-down the roster. They almost pulled off the upset, but SU got back with strong finishes to each half off Oakland turnovers. North Florida brings the offensive punch the Grizzlies didn’t, with four double-figure scorers and an offense that hung over 80 in four of its last six games. They’re top-40 in three-point accuracy and SU’s guards have been a weak point defensively for all the talk of the interior. Consider Syracuse on upset alert, but the Ospreys allow 103 points per 100 possessions. Elijah Hughes and Buddy Boeheim should suffice again.

Now it’s your turn...

Poll

Who wins the game between Syracuse and North Florida?

This poll is closed

  • 79%
    Syracuse, and now we get to breathe (slightly) easier for a week
    (203 votes)
  • 20%
    North Florida, and Christmas is cancelled
    (51 votes)
254 votes total Vote Now