#4 Duke vs Syracuse
6:00 PM EST – ESPN
Carrier Dome, Syracuse, New York
The first time these two teams met last year at the Dome, we saw free basketball. Unfortunately for me, I was in a car on a way to a birthday party for a girl I no longer like to associate myself with. This year we will not be entertained with overtime. The spread on the game is only -6.5 with Duke being the favorite. Personally I think that is low. I have a bet with my manager and we set with the spread on 12. I am that confident. By now you should know who I am pulling for.
Where do I begin? Jahlil Okafor is the best player in the country. Think that is all you need to know. Duke, a team that loves to shoot the threes, should find success both beyond the arc, and in the zone. If Quinn Cook, Matt Jones, and Justice Winslow are on, watch out for Okafor and Amile Jefferson to have their way in the paint. If the treys are not falling, look for freshman stud Tyus Jones to penetrate. With no Rasheed Sulaimon, hopefully frosh Grayson Allen sees more playing time. While Sulaimon was able to create his own shot with ease and sent last year’s game into overtime, Winslow should be able to pick up that slack.
It’s a down year for the Orange and coach Boeheim, and that was evident when Syracuse punished themselves by banning themselves from all postseason player. ACC tournament, NCAA tournament, and the NIT tournament. Coward move. Every Syracuse fan in Buffalo says next year will be their best season in a long time. If the NCAA was smart, they would ban Syracuse from postseason play next season as well. Cuse only has two players. Trevor Cooney who can only shoot threes, and Rakeem Christmas who is a legit player. Cooney is a poor man’s JJ Redick. Redick’s game evolved as he went through his four years to the point where he just was not a three point shooter. Cooney had a stretch last year where he dunked, but haven’t seen any of that this year.
My prediction for the game. Duke 83 – Syracuse 69.
P.S. I’ll be at Checkers tonight on Hertel tonight. Might be the only Duke fan there.