Beat writers bleak on Syracuse’s chances on Saturday against No. 18 Clemson

first_img Published on March 2, 2018 at 5:23 pm Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse (18-12, 7-10 Atlantic Coast), losers of three-straight, hosts No. 18 Clemson (22-7, 11-6) on Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Carrier Dome. On the Orange’s Senior Day, it’ll have perhaps its last chance for a resume-building win as SU looks to sneak its way off the bubble. Beat writers Sam Fortier, Tomer Langer and Matthew Gutierrez break down the matchup and make their picks.See what they think below.Matthew Gutierrez (24-6)Role ReversalClemson 68, Syracuse 59A win over No. 18 Clemson would be Syracuse’s first win against a ranked opponent all season. By many accounts, that’s a must for admission into the NCAA Tournament. But unless the SU offense erupts against an excellent Clemson team, the NIT appears to be Syracuse’s home for the second-straight year. The Tigers are as balanced as any team in the conference, and they go up against a sliding SU team that has lost four of five. Besides, head coach Jim Boeheim said Wednesday that only three players on his team can score at the moment. That’s not a recipe to beat a top-20 team. While Syracuse stunned Clemson on the gridiron, the football school should have no problem beating the basketball school on Saturday.Sam Fortier (21-9)Stick a fork in ’emClemson 59, Syracuse 51AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse has made it to the finish line on fumes and waiting there is Clemson, the 5th-ranked defensive team in the country, according to KenPom.com. If the Tigers defense packs it in and makes it difficult on the Orange to one-on-one drive as other teams have, Syracuse’s offense won’t be able to score enough to win. It’s as simple as that, because Syracuse in general has recently not received either the stellar performances from key contributors or the necessary supplemental scoring to make a difference. A win here is crucial for Syracuse to have any shot at hanging around on the bubble, but it seems improbable at least.Tomer Langer (21-9)The endClemson 72, Syracuse 67Coming into the season, there was a thought that Syracuse would struggle. Four starters from last year were gone and the Orange was relying on a lot of freshman. An 11-2 nonconference start injected some life into the Orange, despite graduate transfer Geno Thorpe leaving unexpectedly early on in the season. But the Orange — partially because of injuries, partially because of a true talent deficiency — couldn’t keep pace in the ACC. Syracuse has come out flat both against Duke and Boston College, and SU’s Tournament hopes come to a complete stop with the sixth home loss of the year. Commentslast_img

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