Syracuse travels to North Carolina to take on the NC State Wolfpack on Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 6:30 p.m. (TV: ACCN). Ahead of the game, The Juice Online’s Jim Stechschulte gives his predictions below.
Season Record 0-0
There is no reason to expect Syracuse to defeat N.C. State on Tuesday night. Yes, the Orange squeaked by the Wolfpack back on January 31, but they had to rally from a double-digit deficit and hold on late, nearly blowing their lead in the final seconds.
N.C. State had just lost their top scorer, Devon Daniels, for the season and was missing D.J. Funderburk for the game due to an off-court issue, yet they had no trouble scoring in the first half and simply went ice cold from long range after halftime.
Funderburk has since returned for the ‘Pack and piled up 14 points and seven boards in 21 minutes off the bench in their last game. His return should bolster an N.C. State attack led by Jericole Hellems, who rolled up 24 points on the Orange, and Manny Bates, who dominated inside all night against SU, finishing with a 17-point, 14-rebound double-double and four blocks.
The Orange are 1-5 on the road this season, only defeating a completely overmatched Boston College squad, and their last three road games have all been blowouts of 17 points or more. The 2-3 zone has been terrible those last three road games, allowing opponents to shoot 49.2 percent overall and 37.2 percent on threes.
While SU is looking to bounce back the last of those three road losses at Clemson this past weekend, they will fall short, with North Carolina State taking an 81-68 decision over Syracuse.