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Syracuse men’s basketball: predictions and poll vs Tennessee

Aloha to the 1st ranked opponent of 23-24

NCAA Basketball: Colgate at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange will get to measure themselves against the top 10 Tennessee Volunteers this afternoon in Hawaii. Hope you scheduled a meeting from 2:30 until 5:00 today because we’ve got a game that will give us some more insight into the Syracuse squad. Here’s how we see this game going:

Kevin: Tennessee 85, Syracuse 77

The Orange have to get off to a better start in this one, but I do expect them to struggle inside against the Volunteers. We’ll see how Judah Mintz and JJ Starling are able to navigate against the backcourt duo of Zakai Zeigler and Santiago Vescovi. Can the Orange forwards contribute enough to make this a game? Will the Syracuse defense be more focused than we’ve seen so far? I think the Orange will play tough, but it won’t be enough against a more experienced squad.

Dom: Tennessee 81, Syracuse 69

Having Starling in the mix next to Mintz will help alleviate some of the offensive concerns, but Tennessee’s defense is going to look to be aggressive against the Orange’s backcourt duo and force the rest of the team to step up. As Kevin said, who’s going to step up and be the third scorer who can take the pressure off Mintz and Starling? The defense will be okay but I think Tennessee gets a scoring run going and ends up holding a lead Syracuse won’t be able to climb out of.

Szuba: Tennessee 89, Syracuse 67

If Syracuse comes out the way it did against Colgate it’ll get trounced and it’s hard to think a comeback effort would be plausible against a team like Tennessee. I think Syracuse can compete in this game, it would just require the Orange to play for a full 40 minutes, something we’ve yet to see. Tennessee is just too good defensively and Rick Barnes has addressed the offensive issues the plagued the Vols last year. This is a veteran Vols team and a really tough game for a young Syracuse squad.

Mike: Tennessee 80, Syracuse 58

As much as I’d like an Orange-to-Orange comparison here, there simply isn’t one - and I’m not just talking about the color schemes. Tennessee is a team built to be a juggernaut well into March, while SU is hoping to sneak in as an at-large. This game will start off the opposite of Colgate, with SU giving it their all, but as the clock starts ticking down from 20 the second time, the Volunteers pull away thanks to their high-end talent.

Ben: Tennessee 78, Syracuse 71

I want to pick Syracuse, and I think it’ll be closer than most think, but ultimately the Vols get it done. I anticipate a slow start for both teams as they settle into a different environment with plenty of distractions this week. Outside of Judah and JJ, who will step up for the Orange? We’ve seen what Bell, Copeland and Taylor have done against inferior opponents this year — will it travel to Hawaii? Unfortunately, I think SU will need multiple “A game” performances and I don’t know if that’s a realistic ask. Vols pull away late.

Max: Tennessee 75, Syracuse 62

I’ll complete the sweep and take the Vols here. A neutral site has me thinking this game will be closer and low scoring to start. But I also know that Tennessee has the more experienced and talented squad, and the halftime adjustments from head coach Rick Barnes will allow the Vols to explode early in the second half. This will be the first bump in the road for Orange head coach Adrian Autry, who will really see where his team as at after getting picked apart by a title-contending squad.


Now it’s your turn:


Who wins the game between Syracuse and Tennessee?

This poll is closed

  • 48%
    Syracuse wins and the true Orange reigns
    (77 votes)
  • 51%
    Tennessee wins and fake Orange is rewarded
    (83 votes)
160 votes total Vote Now