The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team, hot off a nice upset over Virginia, returns to the court on Wednesday night to host the Boston College Eagles. Though both teams have knocked off the Hoos in the last week or so, only one can look like less of a fraud tonight.
A win in this one doesn’t reset the season for either team, but it would certainly help matters on a crowded bubble — and in a muddied middle of the ACC. BC hasn’t been setting the world on fire this year, yet is 3-2 in league play. Syracuse has been... far from what we’d expect. However, a win here gets them into the top half of the conference nonetheless.
Before the game tips off on Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. ET (sure, whatever, regarding that start time!) on ACC Network, we asked the TNIAAM staff to predict what this one could look like.
Syracuse 76, Boston College 59
In the few times Boston College has beaten Syracuse in recent years, it was primarily because of the Eagles’ success from three-point range against SU’s 2-3 zone. But gone are zone antagonists Ky Bowman and Jordan Chatman. This Eagles team shoots just 30 percent from deep, and an inefficient offense (about #250 on KenPom), poor rebounding, and high turnover average further the Orange’s advantage. I think the Orange finally get their first ACC home win by controlling the boards, limiting perimeter shots, forcing turnovers, and scoring in transition. Expect high scoring outputs from Elijah Hughes, Buddy Boeheim, and Joe Girard III, as well as high rebounding numbers from Bourama Sidibe, Marek Dolezaj, and Quincy Guerrier.
Syracuse 73, Boston College 65
It’s time for Syracuse basketball to go on a bit of a winning streak. Boston College is coming in off a really bad loss to Georgia Tech and I think their lackluster play on offense continues against the Orange. Without a go-to scorer, the BC offense will be shut down by the 2-3 zone. On offense for SU, the three-point barrage from Elijah Hughes, Buddy Boeheim, and Joe Girard III will be too much for the Eagles to handle and the Orange will improve to 3-3 in conference with a series of winnable games on the horizon.
Syracuse 74, Boston College 67
Without Nik Popovic inside for BC the Orange can focus on keeping Steffon Mitchell off the glass. Mitchell’s averaging close to 9 rebounds a game and Syracuse will need to replicate Saturday’s efforts on the defensive boards. BC will try to create turnovers on defense so the Orange will need to take care of the ball and not be afraid to attack BC on the interior. After Saturday’s big win Syracuse can’t afford to drop another home game.
Syracuse 80, Boston College 63
Without Nik Popovic (No relation to Greg Popovich) and likely without Derryck Thornton, Boston College is going to struggle to make shots inside the Carrier Dome even against a mediocre Orange 2-3 zone. There’s also nothing standing in the way of a potent Orange shooting team, so give me a 60-point combined effort from Elijah Hughes, Joe Girard and Buddy Boeheim. Like I said in the ACC basketball rankings on Monday: There’s absolutely no chance Boston College gets a win over Syracuse. What could go wrong?
Syracuse 71, Boston College 64
I haven’t fooled myself into thinking that the ship’s simply righted for Syracuse yet. There’s a lot more left to this season and a lot more things that need to be sorted out. Still, this BC team is shorthanded and an offensive liability anyway. Without the most impressive defense to pair with that lack of shooting ability, the Orange should be able to hit enough shots to get the win. Don’t expect a barrage of threes, of course. Just a reasonable amount that get them past the Eagles.
Now it’s your turn...
Who will win the game between Syracuse and Boston College?
This poll is closed
Syracuse, and we’re feeling positive for multiple games!
Boston College, and the countdown to lacrosse begins