The Madness has finally arrived as the Syracuse Orange kick off the ACC Tournament against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons today at Noon on the ACC Network.
The Orange won 72-63 in the Dome on Saturday, but will that matter today in Greensboro? Jesse Edwards was dominant and helped Syracuse overcome a poor shooting day while the Demon Deacon’s star Tyree Appleby struggled shooting from 3 (5-14) and taking care of the ball (7 turnovers)
Who do we think advances to take on the Miami Hurricanes?
Syracuse 84, Wake Forest 82
Both teams are likely to shoot better tomorrow. It’s going to be an odd atmosphere with this noon tip and the North Carolina teams in the evening session so it’s going to be on the Orange to bring energy from the start here. Wake still doesn’t have an answer for Jesse Edwards and when they send a triple-team his way he finds Joe Girard for the game-winner.
Syracuse 78, Wake Forest 72
Maybe I underestimated SU’s tendency to awaken from hibernation in March - or maybe it was just Carmelo’s speech that got the Orange to show up on Senior Day. It still wasn’t the prettiest performance all told, but Syracuse proved they can beat this Wake Forest team even when not everything is working. So while I think Jesse Edwards will have a quieter day, I also expect SU to shoot a lot better than 2/14 from deep this time around.
Wake Forest 78, Syracuse 70
Let’s assume that Wake Forest doesn’t shoot only 25.6% from three and doesn’t foul Syracuse 19 times. Improving those numbers even slightly makes Saturday’s game feel a lot closer than it did. Let’s also assume that Jesse Edwards isn’t going to have 27 points and 20 rebounds again. A lot of things went Syracuse’s way on Saturday. Perhaps it was the effect of the triple celebration of senior day, the 2003 National Championship celebration, and the Gerry McNamara and Hakim Warrick jersey retirements. The Orange don’t have that motivational bump this time around. Wake Forest has revenge on its mind, and it’s a de facto home game being only 30 or so miles away from campus. This could be a shocking regression to the mean.
Syracuse 74, Wake Forest 70
This a tough one to call. I’m a huge proponent of the points Christian brings up above. Wake Forest’s outside shooting will regress back to the mean, especially for a team that makes threes at the third-highest clip (36.6%) in the ACC. Edwards might have another great game, but I don’t think it will be a repeat of the 27-20 performance from Saturday. And yet, I just have a good feeling about this one for the Orange. Syracuse got literally nothing from its bench. I can see one of Chris Bell or Benny Williams having a surprise 10-12 points, while one can hope Girard’s outside shooting and Mintz’s finishing around the rim will be enough. Wake Forest is coming off back-to-back losses and hasn’t scored more than 75 points since February 18. That’s good enough for me.
Syracuse 75, Wake Forest 72
This game should be much closer this time around and with a change of scenery, Wake Forest should play the Orange much closer. No doubt Wake will change its defensive scheme slightly and it’ll be curious if Steve Forbes elects to not double-team Edwards down low after his 27 point night last time. Syracuse should still be able to score but so too will Appleby and Daivien Williamson, who should be able to shoot it much better against the zone — those two combined to take 25 threes against the zone last weekend. But give me the Orange as Mintz and Girard pace the offense with Edwards and do just enough to get over the hump.
Now it’s your turn:
Who wins the ACC Tournament 2nd round game between Syracuse and Wake Forest
This poll is closed
Wake Forest wins and we pivot to women’s lacrosse
Syracuse wins and we get Jim vs Jim II