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Syracuse men’s basketball: predictions and poll vs Virginia

Can the Orange start the ACC campaign with a win?

NCAA Basketball: Louisiana State at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange head to Charlottesville for their first true road game of the 2023-24 season. The Virginia Cavaliers are coming off a big win over Texas A&M and they’ll be looking to win this game and jump back into next week’s Top 25.

Here’s how we think Saturday’s game will go?

Mike: Virginia 65, Syracuse 53

Don’t expect a ton of scoring from the jump as both teams hesitate to run the floor and instead play slow. It should be a good chance for J.J. Starling to fix his shooting woes as Judah Mintz will be zeroed in on after a career-game. However, UVA won’t have the abysmal shooting that LSU brought to the Dome on Tuesday so making a few more contested looks will be what narrowly pushes them ahead of the Orange.

Max: Virginia 62, Syracuse 51

UVA’s defense looks stronger than ever, allowing the second-fewest points per game in the nation (52.9). The Cavaliers also haven’t lost at home in almost a calendar year, so it’s tough for me to back the Orange on the road. Syracuse struggled to score in the Maui Invitational against Tennessee and Gonzaga, and while it might have gained some experience, the team is still too raw to outsmart legendary Virginia coach Tony Bennett in Charlottesville.

Kevin: Virginia 69, Syracuse 62

I think this game will be closer, but after watching the Orange in Hawaii I question their ability to score in the half-court against a strong Virginia team. The Cavaliers are going to force someone other than Judah Mintz to beat them, so can Syracuse get another hot game from beyond the arc? This will be a big test for Adrian Autry but I think it’s a bit too soon for this group to grab the big road win.

Dom: Virginia 64, Syracuse 56

Looks like we’ve all got the same concerns — the past few matchups between both programs have suggested this will be a low-scoring, defensive battle. Mintz is going to get his 18-25 points, but what about the rest of the Orange? Virginia also knocks down its threes at the fifth-best rate in the ACC compared to Syracuse’s fifth-worst standing, which makes it hard for the math up to get enough scoring needed to pull off an early-season upset.

Szuba: Virginia 61, Syracuse 55

This should be a good matchup between two of the ACC’s better backcourts. Virginia isn’t a great rebounding team, so it’ll be interesting if the Orange can keep Ryan Dunn off the glass. But we’ve seen this game play out before. Tony Bennett’s constricting defense will slow the pace of the game down and it’ll be difficult for Syracuse to get easy looks. Something tells me the Orange will be taking a lot of contested mid-range shots in this game and that’s not a good recipe to beat Virginia on its home floor.

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Now it’s your turn

Poll

Who wins the game between Syracuse and Virginia?

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    Syracuse wins and optimism is going to bubble over
    (315 votes)
  • 41%
    Virginia wins and December opens with more post-season panic
    (225 votes)
540 votes total Vote Now