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Three takeaways from Syracuse’s 69-61 win over Pittsburgh

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Syracuse extends its ACC win-streak to five games

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

The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team extended its win-streak to five straight games, taking down the Pittsburgh Panthers by a final score of 69-61 on Saturday. The win moves Syracuse to 13-7 overall and 6-3 in ACC play.

Jim Boeheim has won six consecutive times over the Panthers. Syracuse will put its undefeated road record on the line when it takes on Clemson this Tuesday. The Orange will then return home to take on the Duke Blue Devils on the following Saturday.

Before we turn the page, here are our takeaways from the win over Pittsburgh.

Syracuse front-court

We know Elijah Hughes is putting together an All-ACC kind of season at Syracuse, but the rest of the Syracuse front-court stepped up against Pittsburgh. Marek Dolezaj finished with 17 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block and 1 steal while shooting 7-7 from the free throw line.

Quincy Guerrier came off the bench and finished with 10 points and 8 rebounds. All three of his offensive rebounds led to put-backs. Bourama Sidibe has really turned a corner. He provided 4 points and 8 rebounds, although most of his production came in the first half as he picked up a quick fourth foul in the second half. Sidibe hasn’t missed a shot since the Virginia game.

The Syracuse front-court stepped up today with Hughes struggling and Dolezaj should be in the conversation for All-ACC second or third team. His offensive rebound that led to a put-back late, along with his two free throws, were clutch down the stretch.

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

Syracuse’s sharp-shooting sophomore

Buddy Boeheim looked destined to surpass his career-high of 26 points after he dropped 18 in the first half. Pittsburgh limited him to only three points in the second half as Boeheim finished with 21 points on 4-8 shooting from deep.

Still, Buddy has rounded out his game and now looks comfortable taking it off the bounce. He’s had minimal trouble getting into the mid-range and pulling up over smaller defenders. At one juncture in the first half, he took it left off the dribble and finished with his off-hand. His growth putting the ball on the floor is commendable for a guy known as just a shooter prior to this season.

A quadrant two victory, for now

Pittsburgh came into the day No. 74 in the NET. As a refresher, here’s how the NET breaks down into quadrants:

Quadrant 1 (Q1): Home (1-30) Neutral (1-50) Away (1-75)

Quadrant 2 (Q2): Home (31-75) Neutral (51-100) Away (76-135)

Quadrant 3 (Q3): Home (76-160) Neutral (101-200) Away (136-240)

Quadrant 4 (Q4): Home (161-353) Neutral (201-353) Away (241-353)

Syracuse’s win over Pittsburgh will likely push Pitt beyond No. 75 in the NET and into Q3 territory, but the Orange are starting to put together an NCAA Tournament résumé. To be sure, there’s work to be done. But Syracuse is starting to look like a tournament team.

For Syracuse basketball stories and updates, follow Nunes and James on twitter @NunesMagician and @JamesSzuba