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Pitt vs Syracuse Orange Preview

Pitt travels to the dome for the start of full ACC play.

NCAA Basketball: North Florida at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Game Time: 9:00 pm

Opponent: Syracuse

Head Coach: Jim Boeheim (Paleozoic Era)

Conference: ACC

Current Record: 8-4 (1-0)

Last Game: W 78-63 vs Cornell

2021 Season 16-17 (9-11 9th in ACC)

Top Players: G Joseph Girard (15.2 ppg, 2.8 3pm/g) C Jesse Edwards (14.9 ppg, 11.3 rpg)

Last meeting: Pitt 64 Syracuse 53 1/25/2022

Pitt and Syracuse meet for the 109th time tonight. The Orange represent Pitt’s 2nd most played opponent with Syracuse holding a 65-43 edge in the series. Pitt does lead 21 to 20 in games played this century, however.

Since the move to the ACC, Syracuse has just kind of existed as a middle of the pack team. They have not won more than 23 games in a season since the first year in the conference back in 2013. Sure they have made a couple deep tournament runs as double digit seeds in that time, but they haven’t been truly elite in a decade. Syracuse’s leading scorer is Girard, whom Pitt has defended pretty well in his career, holding him to single digits in five of six career meetings. Jesse Edwards is in the man in the middle for the Orange. He ranks in the top 6 nationally in both rebounds and blocks. Hugley and Gueye outplayed Edwards in the last meeting between the two combining for 30 points and 28 rebounds in the Pitt win. Unfortunately, Gueye is in the G League now and Hugley has struggled to regain his form. It is not yet known if Hugley will be available tonight after he missed the North Florida game. At the other guard spot for Syracuse is Judah Mintz, who has played well so far this season. It is disappointing to not see a talented player in a Pitt uniform, but hopefully Pitt can show him what he missed with a strong showing tonight. Mintz has strong overall numbers, but has struggled with his shooting, making only 3-21 from three this season.

This Pitt team should match up pretty well with Syracuse. Their 8.8 threes made per game is easily the highest for the team since at least the start of the Dixon-Howland era. Elliott’s shooting is obviously a key here as well as Hinson and Burton’s mid-range game. I’m not sure how easy it will be to get inside with Edwards looming. Overall, I think Pitt continues their strong play over the last month and gets another big ACC win.

Prediction: Pitt 74 Syracuse 68