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Syracuse men’s basketball vs. Pittsburgh: TNIAAM predictions & poll

Can SU get back to their (previously) winning ways on the road?

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

The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team got back in the win column on Saturday, and now they’ll try to do so again vs. a beatable Pittsburgh Panthers team. Pitt’s even further out of the NCAA Tournament picture than we are, so picking up a loss (even on the road) wouldn’t be great for the Orange.

Last time out against the Panthers, Syracuse jumped out to a 32-21 lead at halftime, then messed around for the final 20 minutes en route to a 69-61 victory at the Dome. That felt like a lifetime ago but the Panthers managed to be pesky, which is enough to provide at least a little concern going into this game.

Before the game tips off on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET — on ACC Network — we asked the TNIAAM staff to predict the outcome.

Austin Lamb

Syracuse 76, Pitt 70

If the Orange play like they did in the first half of the first meeting against Pitt this season, this game should be a comfortable win. If they play like they did in the second half, then this will come down to the final minute. We’ll likely see some of both, as inconsistency has been a theme with this Syracuse squad, but the fact that this game is at the Petersen Events Center suggests more of the latter. I think the Orange still pull out the win, but once again the rivalry game will produce a close finish.

Dave Stone

Syracuse 78, Pitt 64

The only reason the first meeting between these teams was close was because Elijah Hughes had a bad game (for him at least). We still won by eight points. There aren’t a lot of problem players I see for the Orange on the Panthers roster. Pitt isn’t the most athletic team. They don’t have a lot of size. They are terrible from beyond the arc (29.2 percent as a team). They are kind of an ideal matchup for us, and I don’t think it will end up all that close in the end. ‘Cuse rolls on and is a game away from keeping the winning season streak alive.

Kevin Wall

Syracuse 68, Pitt 62

Both of these teams come into this game struggling to make a lot of outside shots so whichever team can establish the inside game early on will have the advantage. Look for Marek Dolezaj and Justin Champagnie to be featured in this game as each team looks to get the other in foul trouble. I trust Syracuse’s shooting a bit more than Pitt’s so I think the Orange will get a close road win.

NCAA Basketball: Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech Michael Thomas Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

Bobby Manning

Syracuse 77, Pitt 70

Champagnie is a problem. Pittsburgh’s offense took 35 minutes to launch into decisive action in the previous game at the Dome. Once it did, he relentlessly thrashed the Orange’s back line through Terrell Davis in the middle and Ryan Murphy launching shots over the top of the zone. That glimpse was in line for both Pittsburgh and Syracuse, a horrific offense outside Champagnie and a defense poor enough to make the former look good. Those lapses should keep this one close, but the Panthers are so limited offensively it’s hard to imagine them outscoring Hughes, Boeheim and even Quincy Guerrier — who played one of his best games of the season in this matchup.

James Szuba

Syracuse 69, Pitt 66

Pittsburgh is going to come out and chuck up a bunch of bricks against the 2-3 zone, but the Panthers get after it defensively so they should keep this game in the 60s. Look for Elijah Hughes and Marek Dolezaj to keep momentum going on the offensive side of the ball. The top of the 2-3 zone will be key tonight in limiting Trey McGowens and Xavier Johnson from driving the gaps. If Syracuse can do that and limit Justin Champagnie working the high-post and short corner, I like the Orange in this one.

John Cassillo

Syracuse 73, Pitt 66

Pitt’s not a great rebounding team, shoot relatively poorly from three and don’t push the pace. So at least on paper, this isn’t one that’s tailor-made for an Orange loss. However, SU hasn’t won on the road since January 22 and this Pitt team’s already seen the zone this year (for whatever that’s worth during this specific season). As long as Syracuse can keep driving the lane like we saw vs. Georgia Tech, and generate transition opportunities, I like our chances. This one won’t be pretty win or lose, though.

Now it’s your turn...


Who will win the Syracuse vs. Pitt game?

This poll is closed

  • 83%
    Syracuse, and things are as they should be
    (220 votes)
  • 16%
    Pitt, and the universe is in chaos
    (42 votes)
262 votes total Vote Now