Syracuse (10-7, 2-2 ACC) will host Boston College (9-8, 2-2) on Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Carrier Dome. The Eagles routed the Orange in the ACC opener in Chestnut Hill, 96-81. Who will win the game? Our panel at The Juice Online weighed in:
Jim Stechschulte: Well, which Syracuse team is going to show up? Is the energetic one that drilled Miami and Pitt where the bench guys are giving the SU cheerleaders a run for their money?
Or will it be the mostly listless squad who came out at Virginia Tech and let the Hokies do whatever they wanted on offense? If getting waxed on the road wasn’t enough proof that Boston College isn’t the ACC bottom-feeder they were last year, the Eagles’ home win over NC State on Wednesday should let the Orange know. Guards Ky Bowman (30 points) and Jerome Robinson (22) blistered SU on New Year’s Day, combining for 10-of-12 threes, and also torched the Wolfpack for a combined 45 points.
One thing to note about BC, though, is they are 1-5 in games played away from home this season, including 0-2 in true road games. Seems like a fairly simple for the Orange: come out with an active defense that limits the Eagles’ top two threats. Figure the Dome crowd helps them do that and give SU the rematch, 73-64.
Brad Bierman: Road wins in the ACC have been ever so precious this season, with only seven so far in the first 28 conference games. Boston College has already proven that up-close and personally to Syracuse to the tune of the gut-punching 96 points it put up right out of the gate in the league opener Jan. 1 winning by 15 points.
That loss in Boston became more eye-opening when SU turned around three days later and played perhaps its best defense of the season, giving up just 55 points to Miami in the Dome this time winning by 15 points.
So, which Orange squad will we see Saturday afternoon?
Sure, there’s the revenge motive for a stinging loss to BC just 13 days ago, and coming off a poor defensive performance in Tuesday’s 83-73 defeat at Virginia Tech, nobody in orange needs to be reminded of what kind of effort will be needed against the Eagles, who themselves come into town with momentum off a home win Wednesday against N.C. State, and thinking sweep of the season series.
Continuing the early pattern so far in conference play, we look for a strong home court effort Saturday in a competitive game that goes down to the final two minutes with the ‘Cuse holding on 78-75.