The Syracuse Orange will play the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets tonight at 7:00 in Atlanta, and I can – with complete confidence – say that I have absolutely no idea what will happen.
These two teams have been the definition of a roller coaster up to this point in the season, from the ups and downs in their play to the nausea that they’ve given their fans. It’s a ride that both teams want to get off.
The Orange’s haphazard play has been defined by their shooting. In one game they shot 42 percent and beat Louisiana Tech by only just 2, and then less than a week later the same team shot nearly 50 percent and takes a then-undefeated Villanova team down to the wire. The team’s shooting even takes turns mid-game, after a dismal second half against Virginia Tech on Saturday turned a 19-point halftime lead into a scary 2-point win.
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets know Syracuse’s pain. This team lost to Dayton by 14 and beat Charlotte by only 1 to end 2014, but then ran with Notre Dame for the full 40 minutes and then some, losing by 7 in double-overtime. After starting the season 6-1 with wins over major conference schools such as Georgia and Northwestern, the Yellow Jackets have lost four of their last seven.
The only difference in these two teams is the way that they are trending. Syracuse has appeared to have found it’s shooting arm, having shot at least 45 percent in four straight before the Virginia Tech game and winning five of their last six.
Georgia Tech hasn’t shot over 45 percent from the field since beating Northwestern over a month ago. The Yellow Jackets stumbled into ACC play and look to get back on track against the Orange, with whom they share a common trait in inconsistency.
I’m picking the Orange to win this game simply because Jim Boeheim’s squad is playing their best basketball of the season, while Georgia Tech is playing their worst.
Posted: Nathan Dickinson