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Syracuse men’s basketball: predictions and poll vs Louisville

How will the Orange respond?

NCAA Basketball: N.C. State at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange (14-8, 5-6) put aside the off-court drama and look to end their two-game losing streak when the Louisville Cardinals (7-15, 2-9) visit. Tip-off is at 7:00 on the ACC Network and here’s what we think will happen:

Kevin: Syracuse 79, Louisville 76

This game got a lot more interesting after the results (and fallout) from the weekend’s games. Louisville got a breakout game from Brandon Huntley-Hatfield against Florida State and he’s going to be a challenge for the smaller Syracuse frontcourt. I think that Louisville’s propensity to turn the ball over (12.2 per game in ACC play) enables the Orange to get some transition offense going and that’s enough to get back in the win column.

Dom: Syracuse 82, Louisville 76

Both teams equally rank toward the bottom in points per game in the ACC and lack elite outside shooting. The x-factor for Wednesday’s game will be defense: Syracuse’s defense has looked shaky the past week, but Louisville is also giving up the most points per game in the ACC (86.0 PPG, two points higher than second-worst). As Kevin noted, the Cardinals’ tendency to cough the ball up fits into the game plan of getting out in transition and having the advantage in fast break points. That should help to propel the Orange by the final buzzer.

Szuba: Syracuse 81, Louisville 77

Given Louisville’s win over Florida State and recent events surrounding this Syracuse team, picking the Cardinals is almost inviting. But Louisville is just 1-6 on the road this season and the Orange is still 10-1 at home. Plus, Louisville is bad in just about every statistical category so despite the current drama surrounding the Orange program, it shouldn’t be overly difficult for Syracuse to score on this defense — even if the halfcourt offense is pedestrian. I’ll pick Syracuse to get on the right side of this game.

Max: Syracuse 70, Louisville 62

We have no way of knowing how the Orange will respond to the drama that unfolded yesterday. But if there’s anyone to play after an incident like this, it’s Louisville. Like others have said, the Cardinals don’t shoot or defend well, posting the second-worst offensive, and worst defensive efficiency in the ACC, per KenPom. Expect the SU defense to have a bounce-back performance, propelling the Orange to another home win.

Finn: Syracuse 78, Louisville 67

I expect the Cardinals to come into this game with some confidence after putting up 100 points against FSU, as well as murmurs around yesterday’s drama. I think that if ‘Cuse experiences their usual boost in all statistical categories as they usually do at the Dome, they should win comfortably. Louisville sports the second-worst defense in ACC play, and their lone away win this season came against Miami in a matchup that saw them have their best three-point shooting night of the season, beating their season average by around 13 percent.

Mike: Syracuse 77, Louisville 69

The Orange need to respond to their biggest blow of the season. Losing a teammate, regardless of how well he fit in the locker room, will have some kind of effect on the team dynamic. Everyone left needs to understand that the issues Benny had won't be tolerated moving forward - and not showing proper effort against the conference's worst fits that description pretty well.

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Now it’s your turn

Poll

Who wins the game between Syracuse and Louisville?

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    Syracuse wins and we wonder if there’s still a chance
    (200 votes)
  • 26%
    Louisville wins and we wonder if Freeman and Moore’s rankings will improve
    (73 votes)
273 votes total Vote Now