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Syracuse men’s basketball: predictions and poll vs Wake Forest

Cuse vs Wake is the CW rivalry

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 30 Syracuse at Boston College Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Syracuse Orange (14-7, 5-5) head into a critical road game tomorrow night against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (13-7, 5-4) in Winston-Salem. Steve Forbes has been able to work the transfer portal successfully to keep the Demon Deacons competitive, but can he get them back to the NCAA Tournament?

Tip-off is at 7:45 on the CW Network and here’s what we’re predicting:

Kevin: Wake Forest 75, Syracuse 70

After watching what BC was able to do to the Orange defense, I’m not confident that Syracuse can keep a better offense in check. Gonzaga transfers Hunter Sallis and Efton Reid are going to pose problems for Syracuse. It’s going to take a better offensive effort on Saturday night if Syracuse wants to grab another Q1 road win.

Finn: Wake Forest 72, Syracuse 69

After a season-defining loss in Boston the other night, I have worries about how motivated the Orange will be against another mid-tier ACC opponent away from home. The Deacons come off two tough away losses, and I think will be very driven to show out for their home fans. The Deacons also boast a strong home-court advantage, winning their last 10 home games in a row. The Orange have been poor on the road, losing three of their last four. I don't think they will have quite enough drive to outmatch a balanced and free-scoring ‘Deacs squad.

Mike: Wake Forest 80, Syracuse 66

I don’t see how SU can match the Deacs blow-for-blow, so unless the defense really shows up, this is another game where one stretch of missed shots can quickly doom any chances of a needed road win. The Orange have made good steps this season and a win would put them in 6th place in the ACC, but dropping to sub-.500 in conference play derails whatever momentum they have left. Regrettably, we’re in the Earth-2 timeline.

Dom: Wake Forest 84, Syracuse 71

I was originally going to zag here and take the Orange, but it is incredibly hard to ignore Wake Forest’s offensive numbers. Since December 9, the Demon Deacons have scored more than 80 points in all but two games which is a ridiculous run. Wake Forest will also have equally as much of an edge as the Orange following a pretty bad loss versus Pitt. Back at home, the Demon Deacons will just have the wind to their backs here. Syracuse’s defense has a chance to slow Wake Forest down for a bit, but it doesn’t boast the offensive upside needed to feel comfortable jotting down a win.

Szuba: Syracuse 79, Wake Forest 77

As soon as you’re out, they pull you right back in. I know what you might be saying to yourself, but losing to BC only to beat an undefeated at home Wake team is a classic Syracuse move we should be accustomed to by now. But as far as the actual game, Wake wilted late on the road at Pitt earlier this week and has now lost four of its last six. The Deacs will have an advantage in the paint but I think strong showings by Mintz, Starling and Copeland against a so-so perimeter defense gets this team back on track. Yes, Wake’s offense will be a problem but turnovers have been the issue in Syracuse’s road losses to better opponents, but Wake doesn’t turn teams over. Syracuse picks up a quadrant one win and maybe does itself one more favor by having Oregon jump Wake in the NET.

Max: Syracuse 70, Wake 65

This is a fantastic bounce-back spot for the Orange with their season on the line. Wake Forest may play better at home, but its defense isn’t as good as what Syracuse’s CAN be. Immediately following their last three losses, the Orange have held opponents to 65 points or fewer. That trend continues, and three days of practice will have Autry’s squad reenergized and ready to steal a huge win on the road.

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Now it’s your turn:

Poll

Who wins the game between Syracuse and Wake Forest?

This poll is closed

  • 59%
    Syracuse wins and Red avenges Jim’s final loss
    (321 votes)
  • 40%
    Wake Forest wins and curse you Steve Forbes
    (216 votes)
537 votes total Vote Now