Teams: Syracuse Orange (10-10, 4-5) vs. Virginia Cavaliers (8-13,3-7)
Day and Time: Sunday February 2, 2 p.m. ET.
Location: John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, Va.
Where to Watch: ACC Network Extra
Virginia Blog: Streaking the Lawn
Current Record: 7-4, Syracuse
Last Meeting: In the Orange’s first game in the ACC tournament last season, they beat Virginia by a score of 67-57.
Head Coaches: Syracuse - Quentin Hillsman (14th season, 298-154 at SU). Virginia - Tina Thompson (second season, 20-31 at UVA)
Coach Bio: Tina Turner would definitely be a familiar name to women’s hoops fans. After her college career at USC, she became a star in the WNBA after being selected 1st overall. She’s a 4-time WNBA champion, 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist, and is currently 2nd all time in scoring in the WNBA. After her playing days, she went to Texas to become an assistant coach, before landing as the head coach at UVA last season. She was named to the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 2018.
Last Year: Virginia struggled last season, finishing with a 12-19 record. They went just 5-11 in league play and lost to Syracuse twice.
Last Game: The Hoos traveled to UNC last game and dropped it, 78-68.
“Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: Shemera Williams isn’t the player you would suspect based on the stats alone, but I feel as though she could pose problems for Syracuse today. She was sidelined in the first eight games this season with a leg injury, but in her first game scored 14 against Rutgers. The 5-foot-8 freshman scored 20 points at Louisville, and if she gets hot I feel like she would be the one to keep this thing close. She’s averaging 11.2 points per game.
If Syracuse Wins: Need this one bad after beating VT the other night. Gotta keep this thing going against a weak team on the road. If Syracuse wins this one it’s not unfair to say the Orange can pick up some momentum going into the rest of the season.
If Syracuse loses: A really bad loss for Q and company. Virginia is not that good, and losing games like this fade tournament chances quickly. At .500 this late in the season, there’s really little margin for error.