Beat writers predict Syracuse-Connecticut matchup
Evan Jenkins | Staff Photographer
Eighth-seeded Syracuse (22-10, 11-5 Atlantic Coast) faces top-seeded Connecticut (33-0, 16-0 American Athletic) on Monday night at 6:30 p.m. in Storrs, Connecticut. The two teams met last year in the national championship game, with UConn coming away victorious.
Here are predictions from The Daily Orange beat writers on how the game will unfold.
UConn 84, Syracuse 53
UConn is an unstoppable force, and Syracuse is far from an immovable object. The Huskies have won 108-straight, and the Orange hasn’t done anything this season to prove it has what it takes to be the side that finally knocks off the Huskies. Redshirt senior Brittney Sykes and senior Alexis Peterson will struggle to get SU’s offense going, combining for a season-worst 25 points. The rest of the Orange contingent will barely make it into the box score at all. The Huskies are simply too good, and after Naismith Award finalists Katie Lou Samuelson and Napheesa Collier have their way with the Orange in front of their home crowd in the Gampel Pavilion, UConn will rightfully cruise to the Sweet 16, and SU’s season will end the same way it did in 2016: a crushing loss to nation’s best team.
Storm in Storrs
UConn 71, Syracuse 50
The Huskies get one step closer to a fifth straight national title with a sizable victory on their home floor. UConn’s seven skill players, each capable of eye-popping individual efforts, will be too much for Peterson and Co., which has proven all season its thin lineup isn’t built for short rest. Mastermind Geno Auriemma lost his best three players to the draft and Syracuse may sneak to within 10 around halftime, but no one is better than Connecticut.
Just too much
UConn 77, Syracuse 62
To have any chance of winning, Syracuse would have to put together a near-perfect four quarters. They’ve shown flashes — the Orange played three fantastic quarters against national powerhouse Notre Dame earlier this year and looked phenomenal against Iowa State in the first quarter yesterday — but hasn’t put anything together for a full game. If SU can maintain that high-level of play against the best team in basketball, it has a chance. But it’s going to be really hard to do that.
Published on March 19, 2017 at 4:13 pm