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Syracuse closes its regular season with a home game against Miami, hosting the Hurricanes in the Carrier Dome on Saturday after dropping its road finale versus North Carolina earlier this week. In that loss to the Tar Heels, Cole Swider scored a career-high 36 points, but the Orange allowed 15 points in overtime and were defeated for the fourth time in the past six games.
Back on Jan. 5, the Hurricanes scored 58 points in the second half to erase an early 14-point deficit and escape with an 88-87 win against SU. Three Syracuse players topped 20 points that game, including Joe Girard III with 26. But Miami shot 56% from the field and 44% from 3 in the second half to emerge with a victory.
Here’s what The Daily Orange’s beat writers think will happen in SU’s regular season finale:
Andrew Crane (22-8)
Time for some history
Miami 85, Syracuse 81
It’s unlikely that Miami replicates its second-half shooting performance from the last meeting between the two teams, but it’s even more unlikely — impossible, in fact — that the Orange replicate Jesse Edwards’ performance after his season-ending wrist injury. He scored a season-high 22 points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked seven shots, and Saturday’s game against the Hurricanes will serve as the latest reminder for how difficult it’s been to replace his production.
Look for the Orange to jump out to an early lead, with Buddy Boeheim perhaps returning to his role as their primary scorer after Swider’s burst in Chapel Hill. But I think Miami’s shooting, specifically its shooting from beyond the arc, will be enough to escape with another win against Syracuse to secure its first regular season under .500 in Jim Boeheim’s tenure.
Roshan Fernandez (19-11)
Syracuse 79, Miami 77
Syracuse nearly did just enough to pull out a win against UNC on the road, and I think they’re more than capable of closing out the regular season with a win. The Orange have already locked in the No. 8 or No. 9 seed, and they will play on Wednesday at noon in Brooklyn as a result. They’re already destined for a matchup with No. 1 Duke should they win their first game in the ACC Tournament.
And I think the Orange already proved they have what it takes to beat Miami. With Edwards, Syracuse had a double-digit lead at one point. But a season-high 19 turnovers buried SU, and it allowed 58 points in the second half as a result. SU wants revenge for that. I think the defense will play better this time around — it proved its capable of that for portions of the UNC game. Swider has the hot hand, coming off a career-high 36 points against the Tar Heels. Syracuse should feed him again and see if he can continue that streak on Saturday.
Gaurav Shetty (19-11)
First time for everything
Miami 78, Syracuse 76
This game will be close and very well could be a coin flip with the Orange coming out on top. However, the theme of this season has been SU finding new ways to lose, so much so that it recycled one of those ways — inbounding — against North Carolina. After the game, Boeheim insisted that the inbound play had nothing to do with the outcome. Even without the failed inbound pass, the Orange made just one field goal in the overtime period, so it never really was close after regulation.
The loss was eerily similar to Wake Forest in January. Notably, most of Syracuse’s close losses have come away from the Dome, like Miami, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech. However, based on the two teams’ season so far and even with Syracuse at home for this game, I can’t bring myself to pick the Orange.
The post Beat writers split on if Syracuse can win its final game against Miami appeared first on The Daily Orange.