Men's Basketball

Beat writers offer split predictions for Syracuse-Virginia Tech matchup

Jacob Greenfeld | Asst. Photo Editor

Tyus Battle and the Orange will look for their third straight win and first conference victory on the road against Virginia Tech Tuesday night.

After winning two straight Atlantic Coast Conference games at home, Syracuse (10-6, 2-1 ACC) heads back on the road to take on Virginia Tech (12-3, 1-2). The Orange lost its only previous road game in conference play, an 96-81 beatdown against Boston College. Virginia Tech is coming off a 93-78 loss at Florida State on Saturday.

Here’s what our beat writers think will happen on Tuesday night.

Connor Grossman (8-8)
Buzz cut
Virginia Tech 72, Syracuse 70

After barely edging North Florida on Dec. 3, Jim Boeheim said he’d play only five guys if that’s what he had to do. It took him about a month to reach that point, but it’s here. SU is essentially down to a rotation of six. It’s worked thus far, but I’m not willing to believe (yet) that Syracuse has suddenly deviated from the dysfunction that plagued it throughout the nonconference slate. Virginia Tech is truly a team with depth — five players averaging 10 or more points, six players averaging 20-plus minutes — and the Hokies are going to engage SU in a close match on Tuesday. It’s going to leave the Orange still seeking that elusive road win.

Matt Schneidman (9-7)
Buzz kill
Syracuse 71, Virginia Tech 60

The Hokies are desperate for a conference win after losing two straight following a double-digit win against Duke while Grayson Allen served his one-game suspension. But this Syracuse team is clicking on both ends of the court, and the Orange is finding other avenues of offense aside from Andrew White and Tyler Lydon. That spells doom for Virginia Tech, a team that has allowed an average of 98.5 points per game in the last two contests. And oh, Boeheim has his team playing some pretty decent defense these days, too.

Paul Schwedelson (10-6)
To infinity and beyond
Syracuse 76, Virginia Tech 72

Syracuse is playing its best basketball of the season and the team most people envisioned at the start of the season (albeit with a much smaller rotation) is beginning to emerge. The Orange needs to steal a road win before traveling to take on North Carolina and Notre Dame next week. A win in Blacksburg is much more likely that against those other two teams. Buzz Williams’ Hokies are reeling after two losses by a combined 41 points. It’s a perfect storm for SU and the Orange must blast off while it has the chance.

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