Coming off an emotional last-second victory over #10 Duke, the Syracuse Orange (17-12, 9-7) travel to Louisville to take on the #7 Cardinals (22-6, 10-5).
College basketball expert Joe Lunardi has Syracuse as a #10 seed in the NCAA tournament, meaning they are in no danger of missing the tournament at the moment. A big road victory on Sunday however would remove all doubt for Orange Nation.
Louisville, a projected #2 seed for the NCAA tournament, has not lost to an unranked team this year. Syracuse is unranked, but has defeated three top-ten teams this year; Florida St., Virginia, and Duke. This is a potential trap game for the Louisville Cardinals, who are coming off of a double digit loss to the ACC leading North Carolina Tar Heels.
Sophomore guard Donovan Mitchell is arguably Louisville's best player on both sides of the ball. Mitchell, who wears number 45, leads Louisville in points, shot attempts, and steals on the season. He scored 16 points and had 3 steals earlier in the season when Louisville defeated the Orange in overtime.
Syracuse @ Louisville starts at 2 pm. Countdown to Tip-off begins at 1:30 on 88.3 FM!
Syracuse will have to do better at fighting for rebounds on Sunday when Louisville misses shots. Boeheim's squad allowed 16 offensive rebounds to Duke on Wednesday, which almost cost them the game. Louisville averages over 13 offensive rebounds a game. Look for Louisville big-men Jaylen Johnson and Mangok Mathiang to use their size to crash the glass and score in the post against the Orange zone.
If Syracuse looks to make a run in the NCAA tournament, they may cross paths with Louisville and other conference foes again after the ACC tournament. With just two games left in the regular season, Sunday's match-up at the KFC Yum! Center will be Syracuse's last chance to prove themselves capable of a conference win on the road, something they have only been able to do twice this year in eight tries.