Syracuse Orange v. Notre Dame Fighting Irish Prediction & Preview (2/20/21)

Marek Dolezaj goes up for a shot during the first half of Syracuse's 51-49 loss to Notre Dame. MANDATORY PHOTO CREDIT: Kicia Sears, The Juice Online.

Syracuse hosts Notre Dame on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 2:00 p.m. (TV: ACCN). Ahead of the game, The Juice Online’s Jim Stechschulte gives his predictions below.

stechschulteJim Stechschulte
Season Record 0-1

Syracuse has their backs metaphorically against the wall, as far as their NCAA hopes are concerned. While the Orange have a pleasant on the surface 12-6 record, peeling away the outer edges reveals a team with zero NET Quadrant 1 victories with their best hope for getting one coming via Virginia Tech eviscerating everybody they see for three weeks.

Enter Notre Dame.

Saturday’s opponent, the Fighting Irish seem relatively harmless with their 9-10 overall record and under .500 marks both in ACC play and on the road. They actually are a lot like the Orange, mostly losing to pretty good teams and defeating the weaker ones. SU has beaten the aforementioned Hokies while the Irish had no problem with Pitt. Even looking at the stats, they have some similarities. Both teams have barely outscored their opponents in conference play and they both get thumped on the boards with regularity.

Notre Dame has won four of five, though, shooting just over 40 percent from three in those games (48-of-119). That is not really a fluke for the Irish, either, as they are shooting 38.1 percent from deep on the season with six players having made at least a dozen treys at over a 34 percent success rate. Almost 43 percent of all ND shots this season have come from behind the arc and almost 45 percent of field goal attempts the Orange have given up this season have been threes.

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The Irish also foul infrequently, committing just over 11 fouls that lead to just over ten opponent foul shots per game. Syracuse has made a lot of hay at the stripe, making over 81 percent from the line in ACC play.

The Irish will get a pile of threes and not gift the Orange many free points from the stripe, giving them an edge in a shootout, with Notre Dame pulling out an 86-83 win over Syracuse.

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About Jim Stechschulte 894 Articles
A 1996 graduate of Syracuse University, Jim has reported on Syracuse sports for the Syracuse University Alumni Club of Southern California on nearly a decade. He has also written a fantasy basketball column published by He currently resides in Syracuse.