A quick take on Syracuse’s 78-73 against Notre Dame on Saturday evening:
WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse appeared on the ropes after a JJ Starling layup with 6:20 left gave Notre Dame a 68-62 lead. But Syracuse rallied on a suffocating press, and a Judah Mintz free throw gave SU its first late lead at 72-71 with 1:46 left and two more Jesse Edwards free throws on the ensuing possession proved to be the final momentum turn in a hard fought come from behind win.
ANALYSIS: The win improved Syracuse to 12-6 overall and 5-2 in ACC play. And while beating a team ranked 163rd in NET isn’t going to move the needle for the Orange’s NCAA Tournament hopes, a loss could’ve potentially devastated them as another ‘bad’ loss on Syracuse’s resume. SU is already saddled with home losses to Bryant (168 NET) and Colgate (121), designated as Quad 3 and 4 losses, and a loss to the Fighting Irish would’ve qualified as a second Quad 3 loss (Q3 includes home games against teams ranked Nos. 76-160). While it’s hard to predict what SU will ultimately need for its resume with 13 games still left in the season, the Orange will likely need 7-8 more wins heading into the ACC Tournament to at least be in the discussion.
HERO: Chris Bell led Syracuse with 17 points while Jesse Edwards added 13 points and 15 rebounds.
ZERO: Cormac Ryan was just 1-5 from downtown for 3 points.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Orange has a short turnaround, heading down to Florida to play Miami on Monday at 7 p.m. TV: ACCN.