Syracuse v. Florida State: Predictions and analysis

How much will Joseph improve next year?
Kaleb Joseph and the Orange return home to play FSU
Kaleb Joseph and the Orange return home to play FSU

After winning its first two ACC games on the road, Syracuse (11-4, 2-0 ACC) returns home to host Florida State (9-6, 1-1) on Sunday evening at the Carrier Dome. Florida State won its first conference game of the season on Tuesday against Virginia Tech, 86-75. Who will win the game? Our panel at The Juice Online weighed in:

Steve Auger: Supposedly, there’s no such thing as a bad road win in league play, but does anyone really feel good about the way Syracuse limped across the finish line in escaping The Tech Bros. by a combined three points while averaging 57 PPG? Didn’t think so. Florida State ranks near the bottom of the ACC in rebounding, free throw shooting, three-point shooting, and assists. FSU does possess depth as nine players average more than 12 MPG. I’m not sure why Syracuse should win this game but I’m not sure how they could lose it either. In the end, Rakeem Christmas and Michael Gbinije will be the difference. Syracuse 72 – Florida State 68.

» Related: How does Syracuse stack up against the rest of the ACC?

Brad Bierman: Florida State scored more points in the first half of its win over Virginia Tech Tuesday night (53), than the Orange did in the entire game in its win over Georgia Tech (46) a night later. FSU’s last Dome appearance was a 15 point first round NIT pasting of SU in 1997, this time around the Orange take advantage of some home cooking to score a few more points in holding off the long-range shooting-starved ‘Noles. Syracuse 68 – Florida State 60.

Wesley Cheng: I know a lot of people are high on Florida State after its win over Virginia Tech. It’s hard not to be after they scored 86 points on Tuesday. And, as Brad aptly pointed out, their first half total exceeded SU’s entire game total against Georgia Tech. But a lot of fluky things had to happen for them to get there. FSU shot 73 percent in the first half. They made 7 of 10 3-pointers. Robbie Berwick scored 13 points. He had come in averaging 2.6 per game. Plus, Florida State played a Hokies team that is 222 in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency in KenPom.com’s rankings. The Seminoles won’t have the same kind of opportunities against a steadily improving ‘Cuse 2-3 zone that is 16th in the country in AdjD. Syracuse 55 – Florida State 51.

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