January 24, 2014 at 2:09 PM #53134
Qbin Missile CrisisKeymaster
A pair of teams that battled to a five-point differential at the final buzzer earlier this month, will meet for the second time on Saturday afternoon in the Sunshine State, when Miami hosts second-ranked Syracuse.
Date/Time: 1 p.m. EST, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014
Venue: BankUnited Center, Coral Gables, Florida
The Orange (18-0) arrive in Florida looking for warmer weather and another win to keep their unbeaten streak alive. The team will hope that they haven’ t lost momentum after having a week off.
In their previous meeting with the Hurricanes, the Orange had to rally from a five-point deficit to win their first-ever ACC game back on Jan. 4, edging out Miami 49-44. It was an interesting place to be , considering Syracuse has been destroying its opponents this season. In fact, since their close call with the Canes, they have been outscoring league opponents by nearly 12 points per game.
The Orange are led by freshman point guard Tyler Ennis who averages 11.9 points, has 99 assists and 24 turnovers in his first 18 collegiate games. He also has nine turnovers in five ACC games for the Orange, who are among the national leaders in turnover margin and steals per game.
The remaining core of the Orange squad is comprised of Trevor Cooney, who is draining 41.2 percent of his 3-point attempts, and veteran forward C.J. Fair, who averages 16.8 points for the Orange who knock down an average of 72 points per game.
And if that’s not good enough, Syracuse is allowing just 58.2 PPG (third) defensively.
That’s going to make things tough for the Hurricanes who have lost all three of their ACC home games, including a 67-46 defeat against Duke on Wednesday.
What little success Miami (10-8) has had this season has been mainly because of its defense, which is allowing just 39.3 percent shooting overall this season. However, consistency has not been the Canes strongest attribute, as that same defense has allowed as many 59 points per game – and 56.5 in league play.
The Hurricanes will need to find a way to get more from its offense and improve its 41.8 percent shooting to become a factor in the ACC, though. For that, they will lean on Rion Brown, who had seven points in the first game against the Orange and leads the team in scoring at 13.4 per game.
Free Pick: Syracuse- The Hurricanes own two surprising road victories over North Carolina and Georgia Tech this season, but only have two players scoring in double digits.
Meanwhile, Syracuse is off to another incredible season, which ties for the third-best start in team history.
And while I expect the Canes defense keep this one close, I just don’t see the Orange losing this one.
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