Syracuse vs. Georgetown is a tradition that’s withstood the Orange’s move to the ACC a decade ago, and odds are that the game delivers regardless of the teams’ record coming in.
The last part of that sentence is a good thing because both programs come into this game struggling quite a bit.
Syracuse (5-4, 1-0 ACC) finished under .500 last year for the first time in Jim Boeheim’s 40-plus-year tenure and are off to a shaky start this year with home losses to Colgate and Bryant. The Hoyas (5-5), meanwhile, made the wrong kind of history last year by going winless for the entire Big East portion of their schedule.
Prior to that, Syracuse has been the stronger program, but the Hoyas have won four of the seven meetings since the Orange bolted the Big East. The margin of victory has been by 10 points or fewer on each occasion.
Syracuse on a Two-Game Winning Streak
The Orange’s season hit a low point a week and a half ago in a 73-72 loss to Bryant. They played the majority of that game without freshman guard Judah Mintz. He was ejected for slapping a Bulldog player in the head from behind. The Orange dropped to 3-3 after that loss, were then trounced at Illinois, and had the ACC opener at Notre Dame looming.
Syracuse, however, showed some guts by beating the Fighting Irish, 62-61. The Orange were held without a field goal from 2:58 remaining before a layup by Mintz with 13 seconds left gave the Orange the winning margin. They were then able to force a miss to win the game.
The Orange followed that up with a 95-66 victory over Oakland on Tuesday to push over .500 on the season.
Jesse Edwards is emerging as a force on both ends of the court for the Orange. He leads the team with 15.1 points and 11.1 rebounds per contest. The rebounding average is the best in the ACC and third in the nation.
Georgetown Has Mixed Non-Conference Results
The Hoyas are coming off a 75-68 win over Siena on Wednesday, but all of their wins have come against teams in mid-major conferences. Against power-conference teams, Georgetown is 0-3 with losses to Northwestern, Texas Tech, and South Carolina. Georgetown has not yet played a Big East game. Their conference schedule begins next Friday when they host Xavier. Their top scorer is Primo Spears, who is averaging 16.7 points per game and also leads the Hoyas with 4.9 assists per contest.
Syracuse vs. Georgetown Odds
Odds are not yet out for this Syracuse vs. Georgetown matchup because it isn’t until Saturday at 1 p.m. from the JMA Wireless Dome in Syracuse, New York, but according to analytics site BartTorvik, the Orange are favored to win by around eight points. Expect the spread to sit around that mark.
Some Extra Motivation for Syracuse
It’s only fitting that Georgetown will be the opponent when Pearl Washington and Boeheim are inducted into Syracuse University’s Ring of Honor on Saturday.
Both men began to make their mark in the 1980s against teams like Georgetown in the original version of the Big East, and Hoyas coach Patrick Ewing was also a big part of that rivalry in those days.
A Close Game May Favor Georgetown in the Odds
Outside of Syracuse having a seven point advantage in adjusted defensive efficiency, the metrics for both teams are extremely close. Despite their miserable season last year, Georgetown beat the Orange in Washington, D.C., 79-75.
The Orange are 2-1 straight up in the Dome against the Hoyas in the non-conference version of this rivalry. The wins were by one and five points, so all signs are pointing to a close game here. Our prediction is a Syracuse win but a Hoyas cover, 76-72.