Upset Alert: #17 Syracuse Vs. #5 Georgetown
- CoachingSyracuse found just the cure for its three-game losing streak on Wednesday: a matchup with DePaul, which resulted in an easy win. The Orange is still alive for a double-bye in the Big East tournament.The Hoyas’ impressive 11-game win streak was snapped at Villanova on Wednesday night (they became ’Nova’s third top-five victim). That moves them into a three-way tie atop the Big East.
- OffenseC.J. Fair has been the big scorer for Syracuse lately; he’s overtaken Brandon Triche as the leading scorer. What makes this team tough to guard is its balance.Otto Porter, Jr. exploded against Syracuse in the first matchup, scoring 33 of his team’s 57 points in an upset win. His teammates, however, struggle to find consistency.
- DefenseSyracuse’s zone causes a lot of problems—they block shots, force turnovers, and generally hold the opposition to a low shooting percentage. In the first meeting, they did a great job against everyone on Georgetown, except Porter.Defense has been the Hoyas’ calling card all season. Their adjusted efficiency, according to KenPom.com, is fifth best in the country.
- Bench DepthJames Southerland started on Wednesday, but that was likely because it was Senior Night. He’ll continue to come off the bench going forward, but he’s the Orange’s only real threat.These teams have similar benches—like Syracuse, Georgetown brings a capable scorer off the pine (D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera). Also like Syracuse, that’s about it.
Porter single-handedly beat Syracuse on Feb. 23 (57-46 was the final). In possibly the last matchup between these two teams for a long time, Syracuse is poised to earn a narrow victory. -Andrew Kahn, College Basketball Contributor