Picking tournament sleepers, defending Aaron Craft, more mailbag
The Orange still have five league road games left to play, including against three ranked teams: at Pittsburgh (Feb. 12), at Duke (Feb. 22) and at Virginia (March 1). In between the Duke and Virginia games, the Orange have a classic trap game at Maryland. So that is three consecutive ACC road games. It's hard to imagine them coming out of that stretch unblemished, but I'll go ahead and predict the first loss will come at Pitt. The Panthers have had their own stumbles, but they are strongest where Syracuse is weakest, and that's on the offensive glass. The main vulnerability of Syracuse's zone is the manner in which it allows for offensive rebounds, and the Panthers are ranked 16th in the country in offensive rebound percentage. Pitt is happy to grind and slug it out with Syracuse. Plus, the Panthers will be playing at home and feeling desperate to win.