Beat writers split on outcome of Syracuse’s matchup with Notre Dame on Saturday

first_imgComing off a loss in the first road test of the conference slate, Syracuse (12-3, 1-1 Atlantic Coast) hosts Notre Dame (12-3, 2-0 ACC) on Saturday. The Orange fell to the Demon Deacons, as it got out-rebounded for the first time all season and Tyus Battle got into second-half foul trouble. The Fighting Irish, however, are fresh off a dominating win over North Carolina State, despite being without stars Matt Farrell and Bonzie Colson.Here’s what our beat writers think of the matchup.Matthew Gutierrez (13-2)No luck neededNotre Dame 71, Syracuse 63At this point, the ACC slate for Syracuse looks relatively dim. A 12-3 Notre Dame team comes to town after taking care of a quality North Carolina State unit by 30 points. While the Irish won’t have Farrell and Colson, four other players reached double-figures Wednesday against the Wolfpack. The Orange doesn’t have that kind of diverse offense. And overall, SU fans may want to be concerned that the loss to a mediocre Wake Forest team could prove more than a blip. The Orange needs a fourth guy who can step up and score at or near double-digits every game. With no such signs, conference teams as good as Notre Dame will beat Syracuse.Sam Fortier (12-3)Slighting IrishSyracuse 64, Notre Dame 63AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNotre Dame is the latest elite offense to come at the Orange, but the Fighting Irish won’t be close to full strength. The team’s two most significant contributors, point guard Matt Farrell and big man Bonzie Colson, have been ruled out with an ankle injury and broken foot, respectively. Syracuse — a team known for its defense and strength at home — needs to take advantage of a really good team without its two best bucket-getters that’s caught off-balance reshuffling its lineup on the road. Then again, I’m 0-2 in predicting Syracuse’s ACC games, so take this for what it’s worth.Tomer Langer (12-3)The Hobbled IrishSyracuse 69, Notre Dame 64Through its first two ACC games, which is obviously an incredibly small sample size, it seems like Syracuse was following last year’s model through the conference. It surprisingly handily beat Virginia Tech at home, but struggled against a lower-ranked (per Kenpom.com) Wake Forest team on the road in an eventual loss. Syracuse is back home to play against a really strong — ranked 17th overall by Kenpom — Notre Dame team. But as Sam and Matthew already mentioned, UND will be down its two best players. Against Syracuse’s stingy defense at home, I think that’ll be too much to overcome. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 5, 2018 at 12:32 pmlast_img

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