The final game of the Syracuse Orange’s season awaits Saturday against Miami at the Carrier Dome. Here’s what to watch for.
- Teams: Syracuse Orange (15-15, 9-10 ACC) v. Miami Hurricanes (21-9, 13-6)
- Date: Saturday, Mar. 5
- Game Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
- Venue: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
- Network: ESPNU
Fearless Prediction: Syracuse 79, Miami 74
The Juice Online Season Record: 15-4 (ACC)
While the priority for the Orange will surely be doing whatever gives them the best chance to beat Miami and prevent Jim Boeheim from having his first losing regular season as a head coach, you have to imagine that Buddy’s chance to be the ACC’s leading scorer is on the back of Jim Boeheim’s mind.
At the end of his senior season, Buddy won’t be at the top of the career points or 3-point record books in Syracuse history, but he sits just 30 points away from leading the ACC in scoring for the 2021-22 season and you have to imagine that Jim would like to give his son a shot at that honor.
His main competition- Wake Forest guard Alondes Williams- played his last game of the regular season on Wednesday, leaving the door open for Buddy to take the crown with a big game of his own. It won’t be an easy feat to drop 30, but it should make for a fun watch in a game that frankly won’t have very high stakes for either team.
MIAMI HEATING UP
Miami won 81-70 over Boston College on Wednesday night in impressive fashion, shooting 56.4% from the field as a team. Junior guard Jordan Miller had 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting while sophomore Isaiah Wong went 9-of-16 from the floor, 5-of-9 from three point range, and 4-of-4 at the line. That was enough to get him a career high 27 points.
Miami has to come into this match up feeling confident. Besides edging out the Orange 88-87 in Coral Gables earlier this year, the Hurricanes have been fantastic on the road with a 9-2 mark going into their final regular season game at the Dome. That’s a big reason for their 21-9 record overall and optimism about making a run in the Tournament.
OVERCOMING BENNY WILLIAMS INJURY
Late Thursday afternoon news broke that freshman forward Benny Williams suffered a lower body injury in Monday night’s game at North Carolina. Williams had been having an unimpressive year due mostly to lack of playing time, but did have a 14 point, six rebound performance in the drubbing at the hands of Duke last Saturday.
The biggest impact of his absence will be on Syracuse’s lack of depth overall, already down center Jesse Edwards, guard Symir Torrence, and reserve forward John Bol Ajak. All those injuries mean even more playing time for both Boeheim brothers, forward Cole Swider, and center Bourama Sidibe.
» Related: Syracuse loses steam in final minutes, bows to Notre Dame
Overall though, Syracuse is a team that’s played tough all year and lost a lot of close, winnable games. They’re a bit better than their record shows with their ability to score, and this is the final game for their best offensive player- who happens to be the coach’s son- at home with arguably the best home court advantage in the country.
With the university’s recent easing of Covid restrictions, the Dome will be packed and rocking, and I expect the Orange players to feed off of that energy. Led by a big performance from Buddy Boeheim, I’ll take Syracuse to give Jim another winning season.
For more Syracuse coverage, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and listen to our podcast.