The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team (11-6, 4-2) is back in action Saturday night in a rematch against the veteran-heavy but struggling Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-8, 1-5). The Orange hope to build some momentum at home before preparing to hit the road against #16 Miami. A victory would also give Syracuse nine wins in its last 11 games.
Tip-off between the Orange and the Fighting Irish is scheduled for 7 pm EST.
Here are our predictions:
Syracuse 74, Notre Dame 64
In its first matchup against the Fighting Irish this season, Joe Girard (20 points) and Jesse Edwards (22 points and 16 rebounds) shouldered the burden from its one-point win back in early December. This time, expect Syracuse to match up fairly well with extra available depth this time. Justin Taylor, Maliq Brown, and the younger Orange reserves are way more prepared for a game like this compared to its first matchup against Notre Dame. If Syracuse can just cut down on the turnovers, its offense should generate enough points against a Notre Dame team not known to score in bunches.
Syracuse 77, Notre Dame 68
The Orange have found the shooting touch lately and this is another good match-up for them. Notre Dame couldn’t contain Jesse Edwards in the first meeting and that should mean Syracuse can play inside-out again. If the Orange can push the tempo, Notre Dame and their thin rotation should falter down the stretch. Syracuse has played better recently but if they lose this one, it’ll be a lot tougher to see a positive finish to the season.
Syracuse 80, Notre Dame 63
As Dom pointed out, the Orange bench has been a lot more active recently. I expect that to continue here, with the 4 being the most intriguing position to watch. Maliq Brown had his breakout game against VT, which should put some added pressure on Benny Williams to perform and keep his starting spot. One of those two is poised for a big performance here - and that added rebound/assist insurance ought to be a huge difference in a convincing victory.
Syracuse 75, Notre Dame 65
Jesse Edwards has been quiet by his standards over the last couple of games. He’ll relish the chance to put up offensive numbers against the Irish again. If Notre Dame wanted any more offense against Syracuse the last time these two teams met, better ball movement would’ve helped instead of just passing the ball around the perimeter. Unfortunately for the Irish, they rank as the third worst team in the conference in assists per game. Combine it all together and the Orange are ready to get back on a winning streak.
Syracuse 77, Notre Dame 70
Notre Dame has really struggled of late, dropping six of its last eight while needing overtime to take down Georgia Tech at home. If Syracuse can keep this perimeter oriented Irish team from getting too hot from three, you have to like the Orange at home. Girard is as hot as he’s ever been in his career and he has a tendency to play well against the Irish. That, and Syracuse has a clear advantage inside and shouldn’t have difficulty feeding Edwards down low. Orange by three possessions.
Now it’s your turn:
Who wins the game between Syracuse and Notre Dame?
This poll is closed
Syracuse wins and Boeheim wants to know why Kevin Costner isn’t at his presser
Notre Dame wins and Mike Brey tells us how much he has in common with John Dutton