Opportunities for Syracuse to grab resume-building wins are available down the stretch, so can the Orange find a way to get the job done in the Dome? NC State comes in after scoring 92 points at BC so this game could provide you with the most Valentine’s action you’ll get.
Tip-off between the Orange and the Wolfpack is scheduled for 7 pm EST on the ACC Network.
Here are our predictions:
NC State 79, Syracuse 77
I’m going to assume most of the staff will go with the Orange and since some of you are weirdly superstitious about it I’ll go against my heart tonight. The Syracuse offense hasn’t played a complete game in a while, and this isn’t the team where you can go on a long scoring drought. Roses are red. Boeheim wears blue. I’m picking against the Orange so don’t do it too.
Syracuse 87, NC State 84
Uh... sure thing Kevin. This has the makings of a shootout: a well-rested Orange outfit with a shot to finally snatch a quality win, against a ranked team with one of the best offenses in the nation. It’s the Wolfpack defense that has caused them to struggle with putting away ACC opponents early, especially in consecutive games, so their rout over BC should mean this will be tight. To me, this comes down to how the bigs play. Since D.J. Burns has struggled much more with fouls than Jesse Edwards, SU’s starters can outlast the ‘Pack, play close to the full 40, and close out the biggest victory of the season.
NC State 82, Syracuse 70
I’m surprised Vegas and others think this’ll be close. There are so many factors that play right into NC State’s hands. The Wolfpack are second in the ACC in offensive rebounds and first in the ACC in turnover margin and steals. That means NC State gets a ton of extra offensive opportunities that mitigates its inefficient offense. It’s the reason the Wolfpack have the second best scoring offense in the conference despite being eighth in field goal percentage and three-point field goal percentage. Syracuse is awful against teams that take a bunch of shots. The Orange have relied on opponents having historically bad shooting nights against teams that take a high volume of shots to scrape out wins. They’ll need that stroke of luck again to beat NC State.
Syracuse 77, NC State 76
Part of me thinks Terquavion Smith will come in and shoot the lights out and the 275 lb DJ Burns will give Jesse Edwards foul causing concerns down low. Another thinks the big three of Edwards, Mintz and Girard has been playing well and can get the job done. So with that, Maliq Brown being steady and Chris Bell improving on the defensive end, I’ll give Syracuse a little love to win at home in a close game. The growing freshman Mintz closes the deal down the stretch as the Orange makes things interesting.
NC State 80, Syracuse 74
It seems we have a split decision among the TNIAAM team. Not to be a Debbie Downer here because the Orange can keep things close, but the Wolfpack have the statistical advantages needed to win. A lot would need to go right for ‘Cuse and/or wrong for NC State. Mainly, Edwards would need to stay out of foul trouble while the Orange hope the Wolfpack either turn the ball over more than at the third-lowest rate in the ACC or clank a ton of threes that Syracuse will sacrifice.
Now it’s your turn:
Who wins the game between Syracuse and NC State?
This poll is closed
Syracuse wins and it’s champagne and Luther Vandross
NC State wins and it’s cold coffee and The Cure
This is going to serve as tonight’s game thread. Don’t neglect your loved ones for an unranked Syracuse Basketball team.