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Syracuse vs. Duke: TNIAAM Predictions & Poll

Who will prevail in the rubber match?

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Duke Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to another day of the ACC Tournament. Tonight in Charlotte the Syracuse Orange (20-12, 10-8) will take on the Duke Blue Devils (26-5, 14-4) tonight at 9:30 p.m.-ish. The two teams split the season series this year, both winning on the road. Syracuse took the first game by a score of 95-91 in overtime and Duke won the rematch 75-65.

Will Tyus Battle return tonight? What about Zion Williamson? Did you guys know that Jim Boeheim and Coach K are good friends? Anyway... here are our TNIAAM predictions:

James Szuba

Duke 81, Syracuse 65

While I would have entertained a Syracuse win in Zion’s first game back, there’s almost no chance the Orange can pull the upset without Tyus Battle against Duke. I do think not having Bolden in the middle changes things a bit, but Duke is simply too good for the Syracuse defense to get consistent stops and the Syracuse offense should struggle tonight despite the inspired efforts from Buddy Boeheim, Elijah Hughes and Frank Howard. If Syracuse had any chance, it can’t let guys like Alex O’Connell get going from three like last time.

Matt McClusky

Duke 78, Syracuse 66

I won’t make this more difficult than it needs to be. Without Tyus Battle, Syracuse is going to be at a major disadvantage playing against Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and company. The only way this works for the Orange is if Buddy Boeheim and Elijah Hughes pick up the slack on offense like they did last night. Just the same, the zone is going to have to collapse on the Devils and sucker them into long-range shot attempts. I think the Orange will be competitive for periods of time tonight, but Duke seems destined for bigger games ahead.

NCAA Basketball: Duke at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Wall

Duke 71, Syracuse 66

I have a feeling we’ll see Zion tonight but not Tyus. If he’s really two days away from being 100% it would seem to make sense to let him recover before the NCAA Tournament begins. No matter what Syracuse will need to put together two halves of basketball to beat Duke. Last night the Orange moved well on both ends of the floor in the second half and will have to repeat that effort tonight. Limiting turnovers will be key as Duke will want to get out in transition but in the end I think RJ Barrett is the difference in this one.

John Cassillo

Duke 77, Syracuse 64

I think we’ll see Zion in limited minutes, but no Tyus. And if that’s the case, there isn’t much of a chance for Syracuse to pull the upset here. Not that last night’s effort wasn’t a surprisingly entertaining glimpse of life without the Orange’s leading scorer, but there was still a level of sloppiness that you can’t get away with against a team like Duke. Except a lot of threes from SU, and the Blue Devils attacking Syracuse inside and creating some early foul trouble (as we’re used to by now). Th Orange never truly go away, but are never really in place to take a lead, either, beyond the first couple minutes.


Who will win the Syracuse-Duke game?

This poll is closed

  • 44%
    Syracuse wins and upsets everyone’s hopes for a Duke-UNC title game
    (264 votes)
  • 55%
    Duke wins and we are happy the Orange get more rest
    (326 votes)
590 votes total Vote Now