A quick take on Syracuse’s 96-57 win against Florida State on Wednesday in the second round of the ACC Tournament:
WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse had one of its best offensive outings of the season, as Cole Swider scored 8 points of an 11-0 run in the first half to give the Orange a 25-10 lead with 10:18 left. Syracuse did not let up, continuing to pour it on, as Swider’s three free throws after he was fouled on a 3-pointer gave the Orange a 49-26 lead going into halftime. Florida State, trying to take a page from North Carolina and Miami’s playbook, pressed the Orange in an attempt to narrow the gap, but SU was nonplussed, and spent most of the second half up by 30+ points in a rare rout.
ANALYSIS: Syracuse’s season lives to see another day, and there is plenty on the line when the Orange face off against Duke for the third time this season. A win would vault the Orange back above .500, and make a better case for the NIT (the NIT revoked a rule in 2017 that required a .500+ record to qualify, even though it hasn’t accepted a sub .500 team since the rule change). A loss would mean that the Orange would finish one game below .500, and would leave Syracuse with a losing final record for the first time under head coach Jim Boeheim, and the first time since the 1960s. But that would be a tall order considering the Orange was routed in the two times it faced Duke in the regular season. And with Duke still smarting from a regular season finale loss to North Carolina, one which retiring coach Mike Krzyzewski called “unacceptable,” expect a particularly sharp and unforgiving team to take to the floor against SU on Thursday.
HERO: It was the Cole Swider show on Wednesday, as he poured in 28 points on 4-6 shooting from the field and added 13 rebounds in a stellar performance. Joe Girard chipped in 16 points with four 3s of his own while Symir Torrence scored nine points off the bench and helped moved the ball well in a three-guard lineup. Overall, Syracuse shot 51.4 percent from the field and 11-28 from downtown.
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ZERO: The afternoon could be summed up for Florida State in one stat: 2-28 from downtown. That’s a paltry 8 percent. As for Syracuse, could they be without guard Buddy Boeheim in its next game? He appeared to punch FSU guard Wyatt Wilkes in the midsection in the first half. No foul was called but the ACC may review and levy a suspension.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse will face off against top-seeded Duke in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament on Thursday at 1 p.m. at the Barclays Center, with ESPN handling TV duties.
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