After two disappointing losses in a row, the Syracuse Orange (16-12, 9-8) stay on the road for a Saturday dinner special against the Pittsburgh Panthers (20-8, 13-4).
Pitt has won four of their last five and can’t afford a bad home loss as they look to strengthen their at-large hopes. Syracuse needs something good to happen to strengthen their NIT chances. Tip-off between the Orange and the Panthers is scheduled for 5 pm EST on the ACC Network.
Here are our predictions:
Pitt 75, Syracuse 70
The Orange mounted a furious comeback in the first meeting coming back from a 20-point deficit in the final ten minutes. They were unable to close it out and I don’t see them winning on the road in front of a sold-out Pitt crowd. The Panthers are winning games with outside shooting and defense, which spells trouble for Syracuse. I expect the Orange to put forth a better effort in this one, but it won’t be enough for the win.
Pitt 73, Syracuse 57
It feels like Syracuse is just going through the motions right now. Their last couple losses were against good, but not great, teams, yet they weren’t anywhere near competitive in those games. Now Boeheim and co. have to face the full might of an angry Oakland Zoo backing a team that should have sky-high confidence. With non-existent depth scoring lately and several players already contemplating their next steps after this season, I don’t think ‘Cuse will be focused enough to stand a chance here.
Pitt 84, Syracuse 70
When’s the last time Syracuse has played well at the Petersen Events Center against a Pitt team not coached by Kevin Stallings? The Orange seem to always have a tough time against the Panthers backed by the Oakland Zoo. Couple that with the recent performances of the last two games, Syracuse is on the wrong side of momentum. The Orange need to avoid the slow starts that they’ve been famous for slugging out at the begging of games or it’ll be another long night for Syracuse basketball.
Pitt 85, Syracuse 68
It’s hard to look the other way on how Syracuse has played in its last two games. With the zone giving up 28 threes over the course of two games, it’s also hard to think Pitt won’t dissect this porous defense, which now sits as the worst in the Jim Boeheim era, giving up 104.5 points per 100 defensive possessions. Pittsburgh wins this one going away and Panther fans are quick to tell Syracuse fans all about how they should’ve bought their team.
Now it’s your turn....
Who wins the game between Syracuse and Pitt?
This poll is closed
Pitt wins and at least tickets for Georgia Tech will be cheap
Syracuse wins and we could be hosting a NIT game