After losing three of its last four games, Syracuse (15-8, 6-4 ACC) will travel up to Massachusetts to take on Boston College (9-13, 1-9) on Wednesday evening. The Eales picked up their first conference win on Jan. 25 against Georgia Tech, but have gone just 1-9 in ACC play. Who will win the game? Our panel at The Juice Online weighed in:
Matt Dagostino: With eight games left on the schedule, here’s something you may not see too often from here on out: A Syracuse win. This is a case where the Orange is just better than their opponent. In their first meeting on Jan. 20, Syracuse won 69-61. But, the game wasn’t really that close. The Orange enjoyed runs of 20-3 and 11-0 and led by 18 at halftime before the Eagles tried to close the gap late. All five Syracuse starters hit double figures and the Orange outscored the Eagles 30-12 in the paint. That all bodes well for Syracuse as it tries to repeat that performance against the ACC’s worst team. The Orange will improve to 3-3 on the road in conference. Syracuse 64, Boston College 55.
Brad Bierman: The only way Syracuse can finish with a losing record in this non-postseason season, is to lose its remaining eight games to end 15-16. That doesn’t seem possible, does it? Let’s see, at BC, Duke, Louisville, Pittsburgh (revenge?), at Notre Dame, at Duke, Virginia and at N.C. State. Tough. The Eagles hung around for awhile with North Carolina at home last Saturday, and this one will go down to the final seconds with the Orange squeaking by, so no worries about finishing with a sub .500 record for the first time under Jim Boeheim. Syracuse 72, Boston College 71.
Jim Stechschulte: Syracuse’s effort against Pitt clearly illustrated it will not roll over. SU defeated BC with its shorthanded lineup and Rakeem Christmas only played 23 minutes due to foul trouble. Many say the Orange is a three-man team (Christmas, Trevor Cooney, Michael Gbinije), but that trio will be among the four best players in the gym (only the Eagles’ Olivier Hanlan is an equal). A mediocre offensive team (0.99 pts/possession on the season, 0.98 in ACC), the Eagles lack an inside presence and, despite making ten triples at the Dome, do not shoot the 3 well (31.2 percent on the season). Syracuse should have more than enough to win, but it won’t be pretty because nothing this season has been for SU. Syracuse 71, Boston College 67.
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