Okay, NOW we’re back in action. After Wednesday’s false start that saw the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team head all the way to Louisville just to learn that the game wasn’t happening, SU returns to the court on Saturday against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. While Notre Dame currently has a sub-.500 record on the year at 9-10, they’ve also won five of seven just like us, and recently won at Duke too.
Before things get started on Saturday from the
Dome Stadium at 2 p.m. ET (on ACC Network), the TNIAAM staff makes picks about what’s going to happen between SU and Notre Dame.
Notre Dame 71, Syracuse 68
I’m going to be the #disloyalidiot here. What scares me about this game is that Notre Dame’s offense is efficient. The Fighting Irish are fourth in the ACC in field goal percentage at 47% and third in three-point field goal percentage at 38.1%. Add to the fact that Prentiss Hubb leads the ACC in assists per game with six and the Fighting Irish have many options available to break down the zone. Every starter for Notre Dame shoots above 34% from three. With a Syracuse defense that is inviting opponents to shoot at will from range, the Orange could be in trouble here.
Syracuse 80, Notre Dame 76
These teams have played some classics recently and while neither looks to be able to slow down their opponent on offense both have the ability to make shots. With a lot of rest heading into this one look for another back and forth game in the Dome. I think Syracuse is able to pull this one at home but if they don’t match Notre Dame’s intensity from the opening the Orange could be in trouble.
Syracuse 85, Notre Dame 81
Defense might look optional in this game, so don’t be surprised if this one gets played in the 80s. Notre Dame is the worst defensive team in the ACC (by Ken Pom defensive efficiency) and Syracuse is having one of its worst defensive seasons in the Ken Pom era. The strength of both squads is the offense, so we could be in for a fun, high-scoring affair. I’ll go with Syracuse at home as the guards get going offensively and the Irish don’t have a John Mooney type in the middle that could give the zone a ton of rebounding and scoring problems inside.
Syracuse 75, Notre Dame 71
Notre Dame’s a team that Syracuse can potentially out-rebound (hooray!), but on the other hand: they don’t foul much at all and are one of the 10-15 most efficient offenses in the country. There’s a way this very much goes wrong very quickly if the Orange aren’t careful. Given the Irish’s poor three-point shooting defense (allowing opponents to hit 35.8% of shots from outside), there will be a temptation to let it fly from three. If they avoid that temptation, this is a close win. If not... welcome to disappointment town.
Now it’s your turn...
Who will win the game between Syracuse and Notre Dame?
This poll is closed
Syracuse, and we’re going streaking!
Notre Dame, and burn that VHS of ‘Rudy’ if you haven’t already