Pittsburgh vs Syracuse Preview and Prediction
Pittsburgh vs Syracuse Preview
The Syracuse Orange basketball team returns home Tuesday night after a rough stretch of games that saw them lose four straight. Luckily for Syracuse, their opponent is the Pittsburgh Panthers who are winless in ACC play. The closest the Panthers came to winning an ACC game this season came against Virginia Tech and that was still a 14-point loss.
Key for the Orange
How will freshman Howard Washington play?
By no means is Washington the most important player on the Orange team, but he is an X-factor. He received extended playing time in Cuse’s double overtime loss to Florida State, mainly due to foul trouble, but he is deserving of more minutes. He was 3-of-4 from the floor and scored nine points in the loss. He finished with just one turnover.
Tell us how you really feel Jim
When asked about Syracuse’s slow start in the ACC after Saturday’s fourth straight loss, Jim Boeheim responded with ‘who cares.’ He’s right — there are 12 ACC games left, and of those four loses, SU was the underdog in three of them. Now, moving forward the Orange have a lot of work to do. It starts with taking care of business against Pitt on Tuesday.
An easy part of Cuse’s schedule ahead
Cuse’s losses in ACC play are piling up, but they have a chance to right the ship. After Tuesday’s game against Pitt, the Orange will play host the following Wednesday to Boston College. That game is followed by a road affair with Pitt on Jan. 27th with George Tech just four days later. Is it far-fetched? Eh, probably. But it’s the easiest four-game stretch of SU’s ACC schedule. If they’re going to make some noise, it starts with Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
Does Pittsburgh have a chance?
Not really. The Panthers are a bad team and their 0-5 record in ACC play reflects that. If Pitt wants a chance to pick up their first ACC victory they will need Jared Wilson-Frame to come up big. The junior guard leads the team in scoring with 12.9 PPG. Out of their 18 games this season, Wilson-Frame has scored double-digits in 13 of those contests.
If you are close to 30 years of age, you probably remember Pittsburgh being a power house in college basketball—but when Jamie Dixon left for TCU a few years ago, the Pittsburgh program as we know it took a tumble. Syracuse is by no means a lock for the NCAA Tournament this season, but the line currently at -15 for Cuse, I expect the Orange to win and cover those points.
Syracuse 78 Pittsburgh 54