Once again, the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team (13-7, 6-3) has its eyes on clinching its first win against a notable opponent. The Orange will have that opportunity Tuesday night in a primetime matchup against the North Carolina Tar Heels (14-6, 6-3), who go into the game on a three-game winning streak.
Tip-off between the Orange and Tar Heels is scheduled for 9 p.m. EST, with the game also being televised on ESPN.
Here are our predictions:
Syracuse 76, North Carolina 69
I’m usually conservative with my predictions, but UNC is only 2-4 up with an eight-point win over the mediocre Portland Pilots and another over the underwhelming Louisville Cardinals. Though UNC is the best-scoring offense in the ACC (79.6 PPG), it also gives up those points on the defensive end (72.3 PPG, fourth-worst behind Wake Forest, Florida State and Louisville). It will be a battle between two elite backcourts and two of the ACC’s best bigs, so bench production will be particularly critical in this game. If Syracuse could win the possession and long-range fronts, they should be able to walk away with an indispensable home win.
North Carolina 74, Syracuse 72
This is a game that the orange can win. UNC has some experienced players, but they’ve been up and down this year. If Jesse Edwards can stay out of nasty trouble he can help limit Armando Bacot, but if not it could be a long night for the young Syracuse forward. I think Judah Mintz needs to score as UNC will likely throw multiple defenders at Joe Girard to keep him at bay. Can Syracuse have enough patience to make good shots and avoid losing possession? If they get back to 40% of 3, that could be an upset win, but it’s hard to predict one based on how teams are coming in.
Syracuse 78, North Carolina 77
Kevin is right. Syracuse can win this game. However, there are a few things that need to happen. The orange needs to keep Bacot off the glass, especially on UNC’s offensive end. Also, Syracuse needs to avoid giving RJ Davis and Caleb Love too many looks at three. Davis will make quite a few, but the orange may limit Love’s makes as he was inconsistent at best out of three. UNC is also mid-table in terms of revenue, and Syracuse has been on a run on spot revenue. Things have to go extremely well for the Orange to win. But there is a way.
Syracuse 85, North Carolina 83
I believe in optimism. This game will be a shootout with the Orange and Tar Heels getting hotter by the day after their respective slow starts. Something has to give way, but neither team will easily cope with big tournament implications in the game. UNC has a tremendous starting five, but in a game with a lot of fast breaks and quick shots, the lower benched team usually has the advantage. If Maliq Brown and Quadir Copeland can play supporting roles, ‘Cuse has a real shot at causing an upset at the Dome.
North Carolina 81, Syracuse 78
North Carolina has been on form lately, and while Syracuse has shown signs of improvement, the Oranges are struggling to win games late against better competition. North Carolina should be able to beat Syracuse in the paint and it’s worrying that RJ Davis and Caleb Love are coming out of the high-scoring game. That, and Leaky Black has the potential to slow down Joe Girard’s recent scoring.
Now it is your turn. Who wins the game tonight?
Who will win the game between Syracuse and North Carolina?
North Carolina wins and Roy Williams has to stop dancing
Syracuse wins and the sound you hear is Joe Lunardi grinding his teeth for adding the Orange to Bubble Watch
0 votes in total