Let me start by saying that nobody knows what’s going to happen tonight. Anybody who claims that they know is a snake who is lying to your face. There are way too many factors to account for and no one knows a.) which Syracuse team will show up and b.) which dook team will show up. I weighed out some pros and cons to both teams so you could get a better look at how both teams operate, but this game is truly a coin toss.
The Dome: The Carrier Dome is, once again, on pace to be one of the most attended arenas in college basketball this year. They haven’t finished outside of the top two arenas in terms of attendance since 2008. It is a night game, which gives fans plenty of time to “prepare” for the game, and tickets are relatively inexpensive because the dome seats over 36,000 people. For reference, that is almost twice as many people as Madison Square Garden. The past two Syracuse home games vs dook have set on campus records for attendance, so Syracuse fans do enjoy this matchup. This atmosphere has been known to intimidate younger teams, like Florida State earlier in the year, and is what limited Louisville to just over 50% free throw shooting a little over a week ago. The Dome should never be overlooked.
Must Win: For the orange, this is as close as it gets to a must win game if they want to make the NCAA tournament this year. While their resume does have some quality wins, their losses to St. John’s and Boston College will in no way be overlooked. You always hear about how good teams “Want it more” and this will definitely hold true for Syracuse and Coach Boeheim.
They Aren’t Very Good: Syracuse, well let’s face it, is not very good at basketball this year. They were blown out by St. John’s by 33 points and lost to BC by 15. While they have had their moments, two of their last three losses came against teams that they should have beat by double digits. Lydon can’t score and isn’t big enough to play the center of the zone. This team can’t play basketball.
They’re dook: This one is pretty self-explanatory; dook wins basketball games. They have won their last seven and are finally heating up. Coach K is, unfortunately, the greatest coach in NCAA history and it physically pains me almost every time that that I see him walk onto the court. I would be counting down the seconds until he announces his retirement, but I know that I won’t be able to watch TV or go on social media because that’s all that people will talk about for a year. It’s going to make me want to move to a country where they don’t even have a word for basketball.
We’ve seen this before: Last year a Syracuse team came into Cameron Indoor and put on a damn show. Tyler Roberson set a record for opposing players’ rebounding and Syracuse walked out with a signature win. At their best, this Syracuse team can be better than that team was and they also have the benefit of playing at home. Lydon and Roberson know that they can beat this team and the veteran starters won’t be bowing down to coach K.
This game is going to be a brawl and I don’t see Syracuse getting blown out. With the Spread only favoring dook by 3 points though, keeping it close won’t be enough for the betting crowd. My gambling advice would be to sit this one out and live to bet another day. The only thing I’d bet on would be seeing lots of shots of the crowd from the top of the dome. Go ‘Cuse and beat dook.