Believe it or not, the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team has won five of seven games, but they could still use some more push to get into the NCAA Tournament. One place that would be great to start? Wednesday night’s game vs. the Louisville Cardinals. The Cards haven’t played in a couple weeks, but lost three of five before the pause. They’re still in good at-large position themselves, though, which is why it would be ideal to beat them on the road.
Before things get started at 6:30 p.m. ET on ACC Network, the TNIAAM staff makes picks about what’s going to happen between SU and Louisville.
Syracuse 78, Louisville 73
The Cardinals can rebound the ball well and that does not benefit Syracuse at all! Louisville will have their way on the inside unless the Orange out-hustle and outwork them in the interior. We all know they’re undersized, but if they can fight like they have done in previous games, although some weren’t as effective compared to other nights, this game won’t be a problem at all for Syracuse. We all know they’ll get their offense going. Just need to do so consistently.
Louisville 68, Syracuse 64
Yes the Cardinals are coming off their COVID pause but if Carlik Jones and David Johnson are playing it’s likely to cause problems for the Syracuse guards. This is a Louisville team that wants to play slow and control the tempo with their defense so the Orange will need to rebound well and look to run on any forced turnover. To get this big road win Syracuse is going to need to deal with the strong defense a lot better than they did at Virginia or Clemson. We’ll see if the Orange have really turned the corner tonight. A win puts them in control of their own NCAA destiny while a loss leaves them fighting uphill.
Louisville 64, Syracuse 58
Even with the Cardinals being well out of practice, the Orange can never seem to shake bad habits this year. Syracuse needs to make the most out of every offensive possession that it has, especially with Louisville bound to start slow. However, the Orange have a nasty tendency to settle for long twos and threes against teams with great rebounders, which causes many one-and-done offensive possessions. That will ultimately lead to Syracuse’s downfall yet again.
Syracuse 70, Louisville 67
Okay, I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna pick Syracuse. Give me a desperate Syracuse team on the road against a Louisville team that’s coming off a pause without two scholarship players. Syracuse has won two of the last three as underdogs against Louisville, each time with their back up against the wall. That, and the Cardinals struggle to shoot it from outside. Even against a porous 2-3 zone, the defense should still force Louisville to take more outside shots than it wants. The Syracuse offense does just enough to get it done for the team’s first quadrant one win of the season and everyone is buying Jim Boeheim/a run to March again.
Syracuse 71, Louisville 69
It’s tougher to get an exact read on this game since we still don’t know which players are out for Louisville (apparently two are missing the contest). And while I do think the Cards’ overall size and team rebounding abilities crate some problems for an Orange team that’s (somewhat artificially) shorthanded in the middle, SU’s recent shot selection and overall free throw prowess have me believing somewhat. Plus the big differentiator for Syracuse should be that they’ve been playing recently while Louisville needs to shake off some rust. That’s enough to fuel a close win.
Now it’s your turn...
Who will win the game between Syracuse and Louisville?
This poll is closed
Syracuse, and WELCOME TO BUBBLE TOWN
Louisville, and we’re commuting in from Bubble Town’s outer exurbs