The TNIAAM team all got it right in the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team’s game against the Pittsburgh Panthers, and now they’ll look to do the same as they take on the 22nd-ranked Florida State Seminoles. This is a marquee ACC matchup, as the Orange look to add another big time win to their resume. So what do the “experts” have to say about Tuesday night’s showdown?
Florida State 71, Syracuse 68
This is going to be a back-and-forth affair down the stretch, as both teams are going to have their fair share of chances to pull out the win. The Orange are going to put up a fight, but a few missed threes late is going to make the difference here. Tyus Battle scores 20-plus, but the other Syracuse scorers are going to struggle as the Orange drop a tough one at home.
Syracuse 74, Florida State 68
Opponents have attempted 20.4 three-pointers per game against Florida State which is the most in the ACC. That is likely due to the Noles being extremely tough on the interior as they are allowing a conference-low 44.3 percent inside the arc. Syracuse can’t afford to settle for three-pointers and will need to continue to attack to free up open shots. It starts with pulling Mfiondu Kabengele away from the basket with screen-and-rolls.
Syracuse 73, Florida State 71
Riding a two-game winning streak, the Orange return home to face a Florida State team which has struggled early in ACC play. The Seminoles are an athletic team and could cause some problems for the Syracuse perimeter players. This is a game where turnovers will be critical and it’s a pivotal game for the Orange in terms of ACC standings and NCAA Tournament resume. Since Tyus Battle rarely shoots poorly in consecutive games I think he makes the difference in this one.
Syracuse 69, Florida State 67
Ken Pom hasn’t failed me yet since I’ve made the switch, so I’ll go with my guy Pomeroy here for a third straight game.
In all seriousness, I do think this is a game that Syracuse wins and given Leonard Hamilton’s comment on the ACC teleconference yesterday, I’d say the Orange have a better chance than I otherwise would have thought previously. Hamilton said FSU hasn’t practiced much ahead of this game and he mention the cavernous dome as an adjustment. For a team that struggles to shoot, I look for them to struggle and for the Syracuse offense to stay hot.
Syracuse 70, Florida State 65
I love where the Syracuse offense is going despite a no-show at Virginia Tech and a second-half drought that nearly spoiled the Pittsburgh win. This team is progressing toward balanced basketball by mixing in lineups that feature Tyus Battle on the ball surrounded by shooters like Buddy Boeheim, Marek Dolezaj and Elijah Hughes. The Orange have shot 36.3 percent from three in conference play — 4th in the ACC.
They’ll need to continue that trend to beat the Seminoles, the top team in the conference at defending the two-point shot. They’ve played to a two-point deficit in three-point efficiency, so this one could turn into a shooting contest from outside. Syracuse’s opponents have taken the seventh least two-point attempts in college basketball, in conference play that’s held up to second among ACC teams. FSU takes the third least two-point attempts in ACC play. Let the threes fly.
Syracuse 73, Florida State 71
Florida State’s an efficient offense (37th, according to KenPom) and that worries me right off the bat. However, a lot of that’s influenced by how the ‘Noles looked earlier in the season — rather than the lackluster start to ACC play (1-4 before taking three straight before this game). I think FSU is too reliant on streaky hot shooting, while Syracuse has seemingly figured out how to have a capable-ish offense of late. That, plus the zone helps SU hold on for the win.
Who will win the Syracuse vs. Florida State game?
This poll is closed
The Orange, and we’re 8-2 heading into the home stretch
The Seminoles, and SU still needs another marquee win somewhere