The Orange (17-9, 6-7) has five games remaining on its schedule. The next matchup for SU comes in Coral Gables against the Hurricanes (18-7, 7-6).
The ’Cuse’s most recent contest was a 74-70 loss to North Carolina State in the Dome Wednesday night. It was a nail-biter to the end, but the Wolfpack edged out thanks to a couple of last-minute threes. Despite two previous wins in ACC play (against Louisville and Wake Forest), the loss to NC State pushes Syracuse under .500 in the conference.
As for the Orange’s opponent, Miami has lost two in-a-row, most recently a 59-50 loss to Virginia. It’s not to be overlooked, however, that the Hurricanes were ranked 25th in the nation only a couple of weeks ago.
A battle of defense is expected as Miami ranks 4th in the ACC allowing 66.3 points per game; while SU ranks second in the conference allowing only 63.8 points each contest.
For the ’Cuse, look out for Oshae Brissett. The freshman’s coming off a career high 25 points against NC State. As for the Hurricanes, Dewan Huell and Lonnie Walker lead the team scoring 11.8 and 11.1 points per game, respectively. Anthony Lawrence poses a threat from beyond the arc as well, shooting 46.3 percent.
The last time these two teams met was in the ACC tournament last year. Miami topped Syracuse 62-57. The one returning player from that matchup is Tyus Battle who scored 14 points in the game. This season, the sophomore is the third highest scorer in the ACC with 20.2 points per game.
Of course, in the back of everyone’s minds will be whether or not Syracuse will make the NCAA tournament. Things are looking bleak for the Orange as it has yet to beat a ranked team this year. A victory over Miami would be a step in the right direction, though the road does get tougher with contests set against #14 North Carolina (20-7, 9-5), #12 Duke (21-5, 9-4), Boston College (16-10, 6-7), and #11 Clemson (20-5, 9-4).
Another storyline for those watching and listening to the game is one of father and son. Ian Eagle is calling the game for CBS, and his son, WAER’s very own, Noah Eagle has the call here on 88.3 FM alongside Sam Rubinoff. They'll have the call from Coral Gables at noon, with coverage starting at 11:30.