The Syracuse Orange (18-10, 9-6) are coming off of two tough losses against ranked ACC powerhouses in Duke and North Carolina, but with just three games remaining the Orange need to focus on the present and learn from their past.
The Orange will look to bounce back from their two-game losing streak with a win on the road against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (11-16, 4-11). The Demon Deacons haven’t had the year they dreamed of, but as coach Jim Boeheim has said time and time again, no ACC game will be easy this year. Let’s see what the TNIAAM team has to say about this conference showdown that could go a long way toward helping Syracuse’s quest to be safely in the NCAA Tournament field prior to Selection Sunday.
Syracuse 68, Wake Forest 60
I’m a little worried that the Orange are going to come out sloppy and take these Demon Deacons lightly, but I think a strong second half propels the Orange to their 19th win of the season. Tyus Battle and Elijah Hughes will have success from deep, but it’ll be another impressive outing from Marek Dolezaj that pushes Syracuse over the hump in this one.
Syracuse 77, Wake Forest 68
After missing two chances to earn another signature win I think the Orange will be focused as they head into this game. The team knows they need to get a couple of wins to secure their NCAA Tournament bid and they don’t want to head home to face Virginia on a losing streak. Syracuse will need to play a full 40 minutes and I expect we’ll see a more balanced offensive attack.
Syracuse 75, Wake Forest 68
I’m actually really looking forward to seeing what Jaylen Hoard can do in this game against the Syracuse 2-3 zone, but I digress. Syracuse should win this game without too much trouble. Wake is at the bottom of the conference for good reason and Syracuse has actually played mostly well through this stretch despite losing to Duke and UNC. Look for the offense to keep building while the zone has an easier time getting stops on Saturday. Syracuse by three possessions and the Orange avoid a bad Q3 loss.
Syracuse 74, Wake Forest 67
Syracuse knows the wins it’s left on the floor the past two games, and despite Wake Forest’s lesser record, this contest looms just as critical. I don’t think we see the same fast start as we did against UNC, but the Orange try to make things a bit more well-rounded from a scoring perspective — which could pay dividends later as they’re trying to close out the Deacons. Expect Tyus Battle to handle the offense once again, with enough contributions from the supporting staff to get the win. Someone from Wake will make us sweat a bit from outside. It’s probably the most obvious choice, Brandon Childress.
Who will win the Syracuse vs. Wake Forest game?
This poll is closed
The Orange, and we come to the Carrier Dome smiling as Virginia comes to town.
The Demon Deacons, and suddenly we start to sweat down the stretch.