It’s a quick turnaround for the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team (13-9, 6-5) as they return home to face the Virginia Cavaliers (16-3, 8-2). The Orange were dismantled on defense by Virginia Tech on Saturday, while UVA soundly beat BC for its sixth straight win.
Tip-off between the Orange and the Cavaliers is scheduled for 7 pm EST on ESPN. It’s the second annual “Blizzard” game for Otto’s Army, with SU students and other fans encouraged to wear white to the game.
Here are our predictions for tonight:
Virginia 67, Syracuse 64
This Syracuse team has yet to prove to me that they are going to be able to beat a disciplined squad like Virginia. I’m expecting a better defensive effort from the Orange tonight, but I don’t know that they will be patient enough on offense to solve the Cavaliers defense.
Virginia 73, Syracuse 64
The Cavaliers present a golden opportunity for the Orange to pull off a critical victory to bolster its NCAA Tournament resume. But as we’ve seen in recent losses to Miami and North Carolina, ‘Cuse continues to find a way to break down in the second half or dig itself into a hole it can’t get out of. Even with homecourt advantage and a tough road environment for the Cavaliers, it’s difficult to see Syracuse upset Virginia unless the Orange can get out more in transition and receive absurd shooting luck on the defensive end.
Virginia 84, Syracuse 62
Time for me to be the pessimist. This screams “disaster waiting to happen” - a great three-point shooting team that passes the ball extremely well and also has a Top-10 defense in the nation... against a one-dimensional offense and overwhelmed zone unit? These Orange aren’t the same guys you grew up watching, and it’s been painfully obvious that the young core is not ready to tackle one of the country‘s most-complete teams. I’ll politely go grab a free student t-shirt and be prepared to peace out at halftime.
Virginia 75, Syracuse 63
The Cavaliers are on a roll, and they’re getting better offensively. That’s not a recipe that Syracuse wants to see, especially with Virginia still holding up its reputation as a defensive juggernaut. The Orange have to press early in the first half if the Cavaliers get rolling from deep. Syracuse looks at its best when in the press, and Virginia has the offensive firepower to stay ahead this season. We saw that in the last meeting, and we’re headed for a similar disaster.
Virginia 71, Syracuse 61
We haven’t seen much in recent weeks that would suggest Syracuse is capable of knocking off a sound and steady Virginia team. Similar to the first meeting, it’s hard to think Cavaliers will have much issue with the 2-3 zone and—as if often the case against the packline—scoring will be difficult for Syracuse. We’ve seen this game play out too many times before and it’d be foolish to pick the Orange when Virginia has won eight of the last nine in this series.
Now it’s your turn: who wins this nationally televised clash?
Who wins the game between Syracuse and Virginia?
This poll is closed
Virginia wins and the giveaway shirts are used as white flags
Syracuse wins and we’ll never surrender our Bubble aspirations