Today, it is one and done.
And while that was the story between the Syracuse Orange and Miami Hurricanes when they played in January for the first and only time this regular season, this time it has tournament implications. Direct tournament implications.
The rematch of Syracuse’s January 70-55 win over Miami comes today in the second round of the ACC Tournament at 12:00 p.m.
Here are three things to keep in mind against the ‘Canes:
Of ACC teams in conference play, Miami allows the second fewest points to be scored.
The Orange might have beaten the Hurricanes by 15 when they last met, but SU cannot go into the game looking for an easy repeat.
Only one team gives up fewer points to conference opponents in the ACC than Miami. The Hurricanes have allowed just 66.7 points per game in ACC matchups. This is compared to their 63.4 PPG mark on the entire year.
The Syracuse offense has been acclaimed as one of the best ‘Cuse has has in years, but against a strong Miami defense in the ACC, the point margin might be stunted this time around.
Syracuse needs to repeat its defensive efforts.
So, in a game that has the potential for marginal scoring, the pressure is on the defense.
In January, Miami’s DJ Vasiljevic led the Hurricanes with 28 points. Five other players scored almost evenly with between six and nine points each, each on about three field goals and some free throw pocket change.
Also in January, SU held Miami to a 38.9 field goal percentage compared to its own 56.8 percent scoring. The Orange also forced 15 Miami turnovers in the game, slightly above its now-full-season average of 13.65 turnovers forced per game.
In all, Syracuse’s defense won it for the Orange two months ago, and it’s going to take a similar effort for SU to stay in the eye of the storm rather than take a beating from harsh Hurricane winds today.
Whichever team gets more rebounds will probably win the game.
Yes, it might be possible to say this about many games, but look at the facts.
Both Syracuse and Miami own a 0.457 field goal percentage. So if they each have the ball the same number of times, it is likely they will score around the same number of times.
In January, Syracuse dominated the rebounding game, grabbing 41 boards while Miami only held on to 26. The result? A 15 point deficit for Miami off reduced scoring opportunities.
If Syracuse can repeat its rebounding abilities against Miami today, SU will have more scoring opportunities and better looks at getting second-chance points. In this case, the Orange should have the game clock under its control for more time as it has possession for more of the game well.
To view the ACC Tournament bracket, click here.
Published: David Edelstein