Syracuse will try to build off its upset of No. 18 Virginia when it returns home to host Boston College (6:30 p.m. ET / ACCN) on Wednesday. Ahead of the game, The Juice Online’s Steve Auger and Wes Cheng give their predictions below.
STEVE AUGER: Sitting at 9-7 (2-3) on the year – what, at least they’re a game up on North Carolina?! – Syracuse has dug quite a hole when it comes to qualifying for the post season, let alone an NCCA at-large bid.
The Orange was held to a mere 34 points in the opener to Virginia. Boeheim’s bunch squandered every opportunity to score a respectable OOC with losses to Oklahoma State, Penn State (for real!), Iowa, and *gulp* Georgetown.
League play hasn’t been much better as Syracuse is winless at home. Besides the Virginia loss, the Orange lost to Notre Dame and Virginia Tech. But, they’re undefeated on the road after pounding Georgia Tech by 34 and, most recently, winning an overtime contest at Virginia. Go figure!
Meanwhile, Boston College has looked like, well, Boston College.
The Eagles are also 9-7 on the year. But, in a crowded middle of the pack ACC, they’re actually a game up on the Orange at 3-2.
BC has home losses in the OOC to Belmont, DePaul, St. Louis, Richmond, and Northwestern.
In the ACC, BC beat Wake and Virginia (yes, that Virginia) at home and won at Notre Dame. They got throttled in their two losses; by 39 at Duke and by 19 to Georgia Tech at home.
So in a season where not much has gone right for the Orange, and not a whole lot makes sense overall in the college basketball world, will Syracuse really stay winless in ACC play at home?
I’m thinking the answer is no as Syracuse builds off their win at Virginia with a 73-67 victory over BC.
WES CHENG (Season Record 6-2): Syracuse kept itself in the ACC race with a rare win at Virginia on the weekend.
But at 2-3 with losses to Notre Dame and Va Tech already on the resume, the Orange are an extreme longshot to win the conference. A +1600 contender in the preseason, their odds will be significantly longer if when sites on MyTopSportsbooks re-open their conference futures.
Even though the ACC is having a down year, six teams still rate higher at KenPom, and the Orange are projected to finish 9-11 in conference play.
Fortunately, Boston College (159) is not one of those six teams, despite their own upset of Virginia last week.
The Eagles rank 252nd in the country in adjusted offense, and play loose with the basketball, averaging more turnovers (14.5) than assists (12.5). They’re also a poor shooting outside team, hitting just 30 percent of its 3s, though guard Jay Heath shoots at a 39.1 percent flip from downtown.
The Orange 2-3 zone is perfectly suited to face a team like BC, and I see it extending its zone to mostly contain Heath. Syracuse makes it two in a row with a 67-62 win.