Day & Time: Tuesday, December 20, 9:00 pm
Location: JMA Wireless Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
Line: The Draftkings Line has Syracuse as slim four point favorites.
TV/Streaming: ESPNU, WatchESPN
Pitt Blog: Cardiac Hill
Rivalry: 74-48, Syraucse
Current Streak: 1, Pittsburgh
First Meeting: The two teams met for the first time on January 29, 1914. Syracuse won 36-29, with Lew Castle leading all scorers with 20 points.
Last Meeting: Syracuse played a typical game that defined last season where the Orange collapsed in the second half and lost all sorts of efficiency. Pitt dominated the second half, out-scoring Syracuse by 15 to win 64-53.
Head Coaches: Syracuse - Jim Boeheim (47th year, 1,107-430) | Pittsburgh - Jeff Capel (fifth season, 55-73)
Coach Bio: Capel was a prolific starting guard for four seasons at Duke during his collegiate playing career. He finished with 1,601 points in his Blue Devils career. Capel started his coaching career as an assistant for his dad, Jeff Capel II, at Old Dominion for one year before moving to an assistant role with VCU the following season. After one year with the Rams, he was promoted to the program’s head coaching role. Capel led VCU to the NCAA tournament during his second season in 2004 and the Rams won 18 or more games in his four-year tenure. Capel then took the Oklahoma head coaching role and led the Sooners to two NCAA tournament appearances, including an Elite Eight run in 2009 with Blake Griffin. Capel left Oklahoma in 2011 and rejoined with Mike Krzyzewski at his alma mater in Duke, where he served as assistant on his staff until 2018. During his time at Duke, Capel stepped in for two games while Krzyzewski was unable to coach. Capel was named Pittsburgh’s head coach in 2018 after the Panthers went winless in conference play.
Last Year: Pitt continued to struggle in the post Jaime Dixon era as the Panthers failed once again to eclipse the six wins in ACC play mark under Capel. Pitt finished 12th in the ACC and dropped in the first round of the ACC tournament to Boston College to finish with an 11-21 record.
Last Game: Pitt dominated on both sides of the ball to blow North Florida out of the Petersen Events Center with a 82-56 win. The Panthers shot 52.5% from the floor and outrebounded North Florida 43-27.
“Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: Blake Hinson has cooled off slightly from three-point range, but he remains efficient inside the arc. He leads Pitt with 16.5 points per game and has scored double-digits points in every game except one this season.
If Syracuse Wins: Sorry Pitt, but you have a trend of sucking in ACC play to keep up.
If Syracuse Loses: Maybe more than a week off is what this team needs.
Fun Fact: Judah Mintz comes into this game off back-to-back ACC Rookie of the Week honors.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.