Syracuse will try for its first Quadrant 1 win of the season when it travels south to play Georgia Tech on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 12:00 p.m. (TV: ACCN). Ahead of the game, The Juice Online’s Brad Bierman gives his predictions below.
Season Record: 3-2
We distinctly remember covering the first-ever meeting between Syracuse and Georgia Tech in 1985, a virtual home game for the Yellow Jackets at the old Omni in Atlanta, a couple of miles from the Tech campus. A great old-school matchup between Pearl Washington and Rafael Addison versus Mark Price and John Sally that turned from Orange to Yellow in the second half.
That was a 70-53 second-round NCAA Tournament defeat in which Pearl would struggle with just seven points, and a year when the Big East ruled sending three teams to the Final Four.
The league’s 1985 success created a lot of envy within the Syracuse program, as for the seventh straight time during Jim Boeheim’s first nine years (two NIT’s), it would be one-and-done for the Orangemen in the NCAA Tournament.
During the ACC era the Orange hold a 5-4 edge while splitting the four games in Atlanta, but the task is tall this time around. Georgia Tech comes off perhaps its most crucial victory in Josh Pastner’s five years as head coach, dominating the second half in Tuesday’s 69-53 road win over No. 16 Virginia Tech.
Big man Moses Wright provided an ominous sign for SU’s frontcourt, scoring 17 of his 26 points after halftime and pulling down 10 boards. Wight’s dominance down low combined with torrid outside shooting (52 percent) and the pesky play of senior guard Jose Alvarado (13 points vs. Va. Tech), will keep the recently-maligned SU defense on its toes.
Jim Boeheim said Monday night that this game might be harder to win than that evening’s 14-point loss at Duke. We tend to agree with that sentiment because the Yellow Jackets are a veteran team sniffing an NCAA invite. Ga. Tech will improve on its current 8-3 home record with a 75-69 win over Syracuse.