The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team (10-6, 3-2) returns home to the Dome Tuesday night to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies (11-5, 1-4). Syracuse enters the game coming off a seven-point loss on the road to #11 Virginia, while Virginia Tech hopes to shake off a four-game losing streak in conference play.
Tip-off between the Orange and Hokies is scheduled for 7 pm EST.
Here are our predictions:
Syracuse 75, Virginia Tech 68
Although the Hokies have lost its last four games by a combined 14 points, three of Virginia Tech’s losses are against opponents with a similar conference and overall record compared to the Orange. This should be a game where the Judah Mintz-Joe Girard backcourt can come out on fire, and I don’t think the Hokies have enough offensive juice to keep a double-digit lead. The Hokies also rank second to last in the ACC in free throws attempted, so expect to see Jesse Edwards play extended time after struggling against Virginia. If the Orange can cut down on the turnovers and not give Virginia Tech freebie points, this should be a bounce-back win for ‘Cuse.
Virginia Tech 74, Syracuse 71
With the exception of BC, the Hokies’ recent losses have been tossups on paper. Quite frankly, I think they’ve just been a bit unlucky as of late - but they have to change that fortune quick or risk plummeting into a freefall. After Syracuse, VT travels to #13 UVA and Clemson, then returns home against #24 Duke. That’s likely a season-altering stretch for Tech. Expect Mike Young’s squad to treat this as a vital game and take a commanding lead early. Cuse will claw back as usual thanks to Girard/Edwards/Mintz, but their theatrics will be too little, too late to recover.
Syracuse 72, Virginia Tech 70
It sounds like the Hokies could have Hunter Cattoor and Rodney Rice available for this game. That’s not good news for the Orange because Justyn Mutts is a major threat in the high post against the zone. Last year Mutts had a triple-double and if Virginia Tech gets two shooters back it could be a long night. However, the Hokies aren’t making shots and Syracuse’s late push at Virginia should give them the incentive to press earlier tonight. If Jesse Edwards can return to form and the Orange keep up their stronger shooting from deep, I think it’s enough to grab a close win.
Christian De Guzman
Syracuse 76, Virginia Tech 75
This game feels like it’s going to be very similar to last season’s game between these teams. The big turning factor that turns this in Syracuse’s tide is Jesse Edwards. Virginia Tech’s best answer to his presence is Justyn Mutts, and while he had an amazing game last season, it’s hard to expect him to replicate that performance. Edwards and his enhanced interior presence should force a streaky Virginia Tech team to hunt for the outside shot, which is a scary thing to ask, but the Orange should know it’s coming. The added boost that Edwards should provide on the inside should also help Syracuse hang with the Hokies offensively.
Virginia Tech 76, Syracuse 70
Virginia Tech has struggled in the league to be sure, but if Cattoor does play in this game that really increases their chances. He’s lights out from the perimeter and Syracuse has struggled to defend in general, but especially from deep. That, and Mutts represents a significant problem in the middle of the zone. Syracuse really struggled to defend that area against Virginia on Saturday.
Now it’s your turn
Who wins the game between Syracuse and Virginia Tech?
This poll is closed
Virginia Tech wins and it’s looking like NIT or bust again
Syracuse wins and there’s a glimmer of Tournament hope alive