Teams: Syracuse Orange (3-4, 0-1) vs. #18 Ohio State Buckeyes (5-0 0-0)
Day & Time: Wednesday, December 1, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
TV/Streaming: ACC Network
Radio: Cuse.com, ESPN 97.7
Rivalry: 10-1, Ohio State
Current Streak: 1, Ohio State
First Meeting: The Orange and the Buckeyes first squared off in February 1982. Ohio State traveled to CNY and earned a 68-64 victory over their hosts.
Last Meeting: Ohio State squeaked out a 77-72 victory in a ranked clash at the Gulf Coast Showcase in Florida in November 2016. The Buckeyes were ranked eighth in the country at the time, while the Orange came in at 11th. Syracuse trailed by 10 at the half and Alexis Peterson’s 29 points were not enough to bring them back.
Head Coaches: Syracuse - Vonn Read (1st year, 3-4) | Ohio State - Kevin McGuff (9th year, 174-84)
Coach Bio: McGuff got his first head coaching job at Xavier, after serving as an assistant at Notre Dame for six seasons. He took the Musketeers to six NCAA Tournaments in nine seasons, building them into a powerhouse at the mid-major level. In the 2009-10 season, he led Xavier to a 30-4 record and a trip to the Elite Eight.
Washington hired him away in 2011. McGuff spent two years in Seattle, making two trips to the WNIT. While not putting together a particularly impressive record, he landed All-Americans in Katie Collier and Kelsey Plum, who would vault the program into the national spotlight.
McGuff didn’t stick around to see them become stars. He returned to Ohio to take the job with the Buckeyes in 2013. After a rebuilding year in his first season, Ohio State had four consecutive years where they either made it to the Round of 32 or the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. This year’s squad is 5-0, nationally ranked, and primed to make another run.
Last Year: The Buckeyes finished 13-7 and an impressive 9-1 in the Big Ten. It was certainly a good enough resume to go to Texas for the NCAA Tournament, but the team had to serve a postseason ban as punishment for NCAA rules violations.
“Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: Taylor Mikesell is a zone defense’s worst nightmare. She comes in as the team’s second-leading scorer, averaging 15.6 points per game. Her shooting numbers, even against weaker competition, are impressive. Mikesell is shooting 54 percent from the field and 59 percent (19-for-32) from three. Syracuse cannot afford to lose her.
If Syracuse Wins: Hopefully there are enough fans at the Dome to storm the court. It would be one of the biggest upsets of the season to this point.
If Syracuse Loses: It’s what we expected. Ohio State is outscoring its opposition by 36 points per game this season. Try to keep it respectable and move on to an easier part of the schedule.
Fun Fact: Ironically, the Buckeyes have a player named Braxtin Miller on their team. Braxton Miller quarterbacked Ohio State teams from 2011-2015, winning a national championship in his final year, after switching to wide receiver. Braxtin Miller is the starting point guard on this year’s Buckeyes team. Unlike Braxton, Braxtin should be able to hold down her starting spot.