Who still has tournament hopes?
If the Syracuse Orange are going to make another miraculous run to enter the NCAA Tournament conversation, they need to start with a win in South Bend. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have been one of the more surprising teams in the ACC, and now it’s time for the Orange to finally find one of the many resume wins that they’ve been desperately searching for this season.
Last time Syracuse played Notre Dame in South Bend, both teams took their turn blowing double-digit leads before the Orange won 84-82. Syracuse has a two-game winning streak in this series. If you’re so inclined, you can bet on whether the Orange make it three through our friends at DraftKings where the Orange are five-point underdogs (odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details).
So let’s get cracking. Who are the #disloyalidiots that are officially killing Syracuse’s bubble chances?
Notre Dame 79, Syracuse 65
It’s almost comical how much better the Orange shoot at home. Syracuse is shooting 49.8% at the Carrier Dome this season and shooting 40.2% away from Central New York. If the Orange can’t get out of their own head on the road, this game is over before it even started. Notre Dame’s offense is versatile and efficient enough to find consistent points against the leaky Syracuse defense. If the Orange can’t match that production on the offensive end, it’ll be a long night in South Bend.
Notre Dame 73 Syracuse 70
Having to go to overtime against Georgia Tech was less than ideal for the Orange. Can they find their legs on this short turnaround? Will Bourama Sidibe be able to give them another game of strong minutes off the bench? I think fatigue is an issue down the stretch as the Orange come up just short.
Notre Dame 76, Syracuse 75
Syracuse can compete in this game and I do think the Orange can score even against an improved Notre Dame defense. But the Irish should be able to stretch the zone out with a bevy of shooters, balanced with Prentiss Hubb being the perfect guy to break the zone down off the bounce. That, and Notre Dame has only lost at home to one ACC opponent in Duke.
Syracuse 72, Notre Dame 69
This game will be the first of four to close out the season that will truly test Syracuse’s ability to win against higher level ACC completion. The Fighting Irishmen currently sit with a 19-8 overall record and a 12-4 record and sit second behind Syracuse in total three pointers made as a team. While these teams’ records say differently, if Syracuse comes to play the way they have over the past two games expect a valiant effort in a close game from the Orange, getting a gutsy statement win in heading into their game against Duke inside the dome this Saturday.
Notre Dame 73, Syracuse 65
The Orange are now entering the gauntlet to close out the regular season. With how ugly they looked in a lot of areas against Georgia Tech, I just can’t see them matching a Notre Dame squad whose only home ACC loss was to Duke – a game where the Irish shot under 28%, I might add. That’s not going to happen against this suspect Syracuse D. Expect the Cuse to come out a bit flat again in their third game in five days.
Now it’s your turn. Sound off in the poll and comments below: