Syracuse faces Florida State in the second round of the ACC Tournament on Wednesday in Brooklyn. Here’s what to watch for.
- Teams: Syracuse Orange (15-16, 9-11 ACC) v. Florida State Seminoles (17-13, 10-10)
- Date: Wednesday, Mar. 9
- Game Time: 12:00 p.m. ET
- Venue: Barclay’s Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.
- Network: ESPN
Fearless Prediction: FSU 72, Syracuse 68
The Juice Online Season Record: 15-5 (ACC)
Syracuse will face Florida State for the third time this season, this time in the second round of the ACC tournament on Wednesday. Cole Swider’s 16 points led the Orange to a 63-60 road win in December, while Caleb Mills five 3s led FSU to a 76-71 win at the Carrier Dome in January.
Much like Syracuse, this is not the season Florida State thought it would have when the teams last met. The Seminoles had ACC Championship aspirations coming into this season, with Mills, a Houston transfer, joining seniors Malik Osborne and RayQuan Evans and a pair of highly touted freshmen in John Butler and Matthew Cleveland. But the Seminoles underachieved because of injuries, losing eight of nine games from late January to mid February, and fell completely out of the title picture and its 2022 odds to win March Madness.
Syracuse was aiming for another NCAA berth back in January, and won six of seven games during the same period of time that FSU was struggling. But Syracuse lost its last four games of the season, including two in frustrating fashion to UNC and Miami in the closing minutes. They also lost ACC Most Improved Player candidate Jesse Edwards for the season to a fractured wrist, promising freshman Benny Williams to a lower body injury, and Symir Torrence to a laceration (though he may potentially return for Wednesday’s game). As a result, Boeheim ended his first ever season below 500.
The Seminoles struggled in rebounding, finishing 249th in the country, but they still play fantastic defense, ranking second in the ACC in both blocks and steals per game.
FSU is pinning its hopes on Mills, its leading scorer (13.0 ppg), returning to health after he was hurt in February, and after tweaking his ankle in FSU’s win over NC State over the weekend. Senior guard Anthony Polite also returned after a lengthy injury absence and registered a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds in their season finale.
The return of both spells trouble for SU. Syracuse team is simply not athletic enough to keep up with Florida State in what will be the final game of a woebegone season for the Orange.