A blowout to Virginia on opening night, a convincing resurgence against Georgia Tech, and a last second meltdown while hosting Notre Dame. That is how Syracuse’s ACC games have gone so far. Sad, happy, sad. The non-conference play was pretty much the same, but against worse competition. With only ACC teams left on SU’s schedule, it’s not going to get any easier.
Let’s be quite frank, Syracuse isn’t that good this season, to put it simply. The Orange don’t have the talent, experience, or offense to be a dominant team. When you put them in the best basketball conference in the country, it is even harder to be positive about this team. So, let’s take a look at the remainder of SU’s ACC slate and see how many games they can actually come out on top of.
vs. Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech isn’t as dominant as it has been in past years, but it is a team that took down a very talented Michigan State squad earlier in the season and has way more offensive firepower than Syracuse. The Dome usually gives SU a couple points, but it won’t be enough. Syracuse will lose this game.
We already know how the first meeting between these two teams went down and the second time won’t be any different. Syracuse will lose this game.
vs. Boston College
Boston College is very similar to Syracuse and will be an equal opponent. The Eagles are a defensive minded team this year with some decent wins, but also some bad losses. The Orange will have the Dome crowd to help them and will be hungry for a win after consecutive games without one. Syracuse will win this game.
at Virginia Tech
It’s the same matchup from two weeks prior, but in Blacksburg instead of the Dome, which doesn’t favor the Orange. Syracuse will lose this game.
at Notre Dame
Syracuse’s last loss to Notre Dame stung and will still be in the back of their heads when they travel to South Bend. The Orange won’t let the Fighting Irish beat them twice. Syracuse will win this game.
Pittsburgh is much improved from past years and could be a tricky matchup for Syracuse. They have a lot of returning players from a season ago, including two of the top three scorers. Even with that experience, Pitt never fares too well playing in the Dome. Syracuse will win this game.
Clemson is a football school, not a basketball school. Syracuse would be riding a two-game winning streak. It doesn’t matter if it is on the road. Syracuse will win this game.
As much as you may want to say Duke will lose, they are currently ranked number two in the country. This year’s SU squad doesn’t stand a chance. Syracuse will lose this game.
vs. Wake Forest
Talk about height and experience. Wake Forest has that in abundance. Both of those things play into Syracuse’s weaknesses. This doesn’t feel like a win. Syracuse will lose this game.
vs. NC State
NC State has a top-ten offense in the country in terms of adjusted offensive efficiency. So, Syracuse will probably go into this game as underdogs, but the Orange always find a way to pull out a surprising win at home each year. This one may not be the most surprising, but it will be an upset. Syracuse will win this game.
at Florida State
Nope, Florida State is too good this year. Let’s keep it moving. Syracuse will lose this game.
Yeah right. Louisville is arguably the best team in the ACC and the entire country. On the road against Jordan Nwora and the Cardinals who will be revving up for March. The Orange don’t stand a chance. Syracuse will lose this game.
vs. Georgia Tech
They did it once, they can do it again. Syracuse will win this game.
Now this is when Pittsburgh’s returning players will make a dent in Syracuse. It will be a tougher test for Syracuse, but the Panthers’ deficiencies of shooting the three will hurt them. Syracuse will win this game.
vs. North Carolina
Not a lot of height, not a lot of experience, really bad at shooting, missing their star player. UNC is a shell of its normal self this year. It is rare that the Tar Heels aren’t ranked or even receiving votes. Now, a lot can change from now until late February, but this could be a game Syracuse steals and makes fans wonder why they couldn’t have been playing like that for the entire season. Syracuse will win this game.
at Boston College
In classic Syracuse fashion, they will do something to draw attention to themselves at the end of the season. In this case, it will be putting together a nice win streak to end the season. Boston College isn’t the toughest opponent on that streak. Syracuse will win this game.
Round it out with the Orange faithful wanting more. Syracuse will win this game.
That gives Syracuse a final ACC record of 11-9 and overall record of 18-13. Some could say that is worthy of being on the bubble for March Madness. Some could also say those predictions were way too nice and gave the Orange too many wins. Both are reasonable responses because who knows with Syracuse basketball. Just as you think you have them figured out, they always seem to surprise you.