You probably have something else to watch next Sunday night. But THIS Sunday night, the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team is playing the N.C. State Wolfpack in a game that could go a long way toward deciding each squad’s NCAA Tournament bubble fate. Syracuse is coming off a loss to Virginia on Monday, but won two straight before that. Meanwhile, State’s lost four of five and now Devon Daniels is out for the year. Certainly doesn’t bode well for them...
Before things get going on Sunday, the TNIAAM staff makes its picks about what’s going to happen between SU and the Pack.
Syracuse 82, NC State 69
It feels like Syracuse is due for one of those good shooting nights since it’s been a few games since more than two players have found the range. Without Devon Daniels the Wolfpack are going to be looking for someone else to step up and the Orange will have one less outside threat to worry about. This is a game where Syracuse can win the rebounding battle and as we’ve seen this year that usually indicates a win so look for this one to be somewhat close for 30 minutes and then the Orange pull away late.
Syracuse 81, NC State 78
This score could get really high, even without Devon Daniels playing for the Wolfpack. Both teams are in the top-four in the ACC in points per game. Conversely, both programs sit in the bottom-six in the conference in points allowed per game. As seems to be the theme with every Syracuse game this season, rebounds are going to be crucial as NC State is dead last in the ACC in rebounding margin. At the very least, Syracuse should be able to establish some confidence at the rim to continuously score in the paint much like in the games against Miami and Virginia Tech.
Syracuse 78, NC State 68
Even if Devon Daniels was able to play I’d still like Syracuse in this matchup. With the Wolfpack void of its leading scorer, Syracuse should be able to create further separation as no other player on N.C. State averages 12.0 ppg or more. The Syracuse offense should bounce back against a team that doesn’t necessarily defend well. Even if the 2-3 zone is just average, N.C. State should still have difficulty finding points and it doesn’t rebound particularly well, which has been Syracuse’s Achilles heel. Orange get it done by 10.
Syracuse 76, NC State 71
As I mentioned in the preview piece, Syracuse should have more opportunities inside during this game, so that should spell more offensive success for Quincy Guerrier and Marek Dolezaj — and by default, the rest of the Orange. Still, I don’t have a lot of faith in this defense and think we see a random shooting performance from State’s bench aggravate the zone for one half or the other. SU gets the win, even if things get a little dicey toward the end. We’ll take that and the bubble differentiation that comes with it.
Now it’s your turn...
Who will win the game between Syracuse and NC State?
This poll is closed
Syracuse, and HOLD THE LINE on the Orange
NC State, and it’s time to start shorting SU basketball