Men's Basketball

Beat writers pick Miami to beat Syracuse men’s basketball

Bryan Cereijo | Staff Photographer

Tyler Lydon watches Miami players celebrate during the Hurricanes' victory over Syracuse last season.

Three days after its 96-81 loss at Boston College to open Atlantic Coast Conference play, Syracuse (8-6, 0-1 ACC) hosts Miami (11-2, 1-0) Wednesday night in the Carrier Dome. On Sunday, SU became the first ACC team since March 2015 to lose to BC. On Saturday the Hurricanes, who are unranked but received 16 votes in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll, beat North Carolina State, 81-63.

Miami has won seven straight while Syracuse is struggling to stay afloat. Here’s how our beat writers predict the matchup will unfold.

Connor Grossman (8-6)
Duck and cover
Miami 74, Syracuse 58

Wednesday’s game is a double whammy for Syracuse. Not only will its defense be pushed — like it will every game, it appears — but SU will try to penetrate one of the conference’s best defenses. Only Virginia has allowed fewer than Miami’s 58.9 points per game. Miami coach Jim Larranaga will snag career win No. 600 while Jim Boeheim is left to wonder if he’ll get the seven wins still needed this season to unofficially reach 1,000 in his career. The loss will also sink the Orange’s record to just a game over .500, threatening to become the first of Boeheim’s 42 teams to finish with a losing record.

Matt Schneidman (9-5)
Hurricane season
Miami 76, Syracuse 64

This zone is like Swiss cheese. Miami, though stronger on the defensive end and without its two best players from last season in Sheldon McClellan and Tonye Jekiri, will find a way to exploit whatever it is you want to call this SU defense. Just as most other power-conference teams have done. Syracuse slips dangerously close to .500, with its Achilles heel (Pittsburgh) up next.

Paul Schwedelson (10-4)
600 Club
Miami 69, Syracuse 59

Until Syracuse beats a major-conference opponent, I’m not convinced it’ll happen. Fourteen games into the year, it’s clear the Orange has serious flaws. Miami brings in a solid core with Ja’Quan Newton, Davon Reed and Bruce Brown. Larranaga will get career win No. 600.

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