After a disappointing loss to Duke, the Syracuse Orange (16-11, 9-7) hit the road for a crucial game against the Clemson Tigers (19-8, 11-5) tonight.
Clemson is coming in off a loss to Louisville, and neither team can afford to take another one tonight. That should mean we get an intense battle for forty minutes, but what do we think will happen? Tip-off between the Orange and the Tigers is scheduled for 7 pm EST on the ACC Network.
Here are our predictions:
Clemson 63, Syracuse 62
I’m not sure how the Orange will slow down the trio of Hunter Tyson, PJ Hall and Chase Hunter. Syracuse’s defense has been exposed all year and if Clemson puts Tyson at the foul line, it’ll open up opportunities for the others. I think we’ll continue to see an effective Judah Mintz, but Clemson is a pretty good home team and I think the crowd makes a difference this game.
Syracuse 71, Clemson 65
The Tigers are the better team on paper, but they are at risk of going into full freefall mode after that debacle at Louisville. That means they ought to play with some desperation tonight - which could create some mistakes for the Orange to take advantage of. Ultimately, it comes down to who executes better by outrebounding the other and wining the possession battle. Will Jesse have to do that alone, or can Maliq Brown and others continue to help on the boards?
Clemson 68, Syracuse 62
Syracuse does have a couple of things going for them. Clemson has lost four of its last five and consistency is all over the floor. The Tigers are either getting out-rebounded or going ice cold from three in their recent losses. The problem for Syracuse is that the Orange need both of those things to happen in order to pull off the upset and supplement that with scoring of their own. Yes, Clemson failed to rebound and shoot the three against Louisville, but Brad Brownell surely will prevent at least one of those things happening against Syracuse. The problem is that the Orange need someone to support Joe Girard from range since PJ Hall and Hunter Tyson will lock down the paint. And Syracuse’s recent lack of offensive consistency may be its downfall once again.
Clemson 70, Syracuse 61
I share a similar philosophy with Christian here. Yes, Clemson enters the game in a different situation compared to its hot start from earlier this season. With that said, Syracuse’s offense is a big concern coming off the scoring dud performance against Duke. The Tigers are another excellent rim-protecting program that is going to put extra pressure on Jesse Edwards to make the right play while forcing Syracuse’s wings to make some open shots from downtown. After hovering as the 4th or 5th best offense in the conference for most of the season, the Orange are down to middle of the pack at 8th. Especially on the road and coming off a slap in the face performance against the Blue Devils, I remain pessimistic.
Syracuse 71, Clemson 67
The wheels are starting to fall off the wagon for a Clemson team that’s lost four of its last five, dropping two of those to Boston College and Louisville. While the Tigers are 13-1 at home this season, the defense hasn’t held up of late for a team that relies on stops to win games. Syracuse, meantime, has been playing better basketball sans the Duke game. I think the Orange bounce back here, win the rebounding battle and score just enough behind the big three down to stretch to get out of Dodge.
Now it’s your turn:
Who wins the game between Syracuse and Clemson?
This poll is closed
Clemson wins and it might be time to plan NIT road trips
Syracuse wins and it might be time to plan for an evening ACC Tournament game