After about two weeks off for both teams, the Syracuse Orange and Pittsburgh Panthers men’s basketball teams will meet on Wednesday for a game that wasn’t even scheduled a week ago. Pitt’s lost seven straight in this matchup and eight of nine since Jamie Dixon left the program.
Before this teams tip off at 4:30 p.m. ET from the Carrier Dome on Wednesday, here’s what the TNIAAM staff thinks is going to happen:
Syracuse 70, Pitt 68
After missing almost a month of competitive basketball, I expect this to be a low scoring game for both teams. In regards to winning the game, it’ll come down to who can defend better and who can get those important stops towards the end. I believe the Orange have just enough of those tools to do just that.
Syracuse 79, Pitt 64
While I expect this game to be really sloppy throughout the fact that the Panthers are missing key players should allow the Orange to get a comfortable win. Returning with a game against Pitt while they are without Justin Champagnie is a lot better than having to play UNC or Florida State so look for Syracuse to be able to score inside tomorrow afternoon. I’ll be interested to see what kind of rotation Jim Boeheim uses with the return of Bourama Sidibe but this is a great opportunity for the Orange to ease back into games after nearly three weeks off.
Syracuse 70, Pitt 60
Pitt doesn’t have its most dangerous weapon against Syracuse as Justin Champagnie is still out due to injury. The Panthers shouldn’t have enough firepower to match Syracuse’s offense once the Orange get rolling. The biggest problem for Pittsburgh is that Champagnie, although slightly undersized, is probably the best option the Panthers have to match up against Quincy Guerrier. The Canadian just might put the Orange on his back yet again to lead Syracuse to another victory.
Syracuse 78, Pitt 62
Syracuse is coming off a long pause, so the shooting might be a little shaky out of the gate. It also might take a little time for Bourama Sidibe to reintegrate himself with his teammates. Still, Pittsburgh hasn’t played in weeks either and the Orange are expected to have a full roster while Jeff Capel will be without his best player in Champagnie, as well as two (and maybe three) other players. The Panthers should have some difficulty scoring the ball and I look for Guerrier and Marek Dolezaj to rebound and have solid performances from the forward spots. Syracuse wins and covers the spread.
Syracuse 75, Pitt 68
I do think Syracuse is better than the score here indicates, but after spending the first half shaking off some rust, they just wind up doing enough to win here. Pitt’s not that formidable without their leading scorer and provided Guerrier and Dolezaj stay out of foul trouble, anyone they send at the rim won’t prove too effective shooting the ball (they’re under 50% there this year). SU makes it interesting but moves the ball well and hits enough late shots to earn the win. It’s nice to be back.
Now it’s your turn...
Who will win the game between Syracuse and Pitt?
This poll is closed
Syracuse, and happy new year!
Pitt, and yinz are concerned