Men's Basketball

Beat writers predict Syracuse-Ole Miss NIT matchup

Jacob Greenfeld | Asst. Photo Editor

Tyler Lydon and No. 1 seed Syracuse will host Ole Miss Saturday at 11 a.m., a game airing on ESPN.

The top-seeded Syracuse Orange (19-14, 10-8 Atlantic Coast) host No. 5 Ole Miss (21-13, 10-8 Southeastern) in the Carrier Dome at 11 a.m for the second round of the National Invitation Tournament. SU is coming off a 13-point win over UNC-Greensboro on Wednesday while the Rebels topped No. 4 Monmouth, 91-83, in a first-round win earlier this week. Saturday’s bout will air on ESPN. Our beat writers predict.

Connor Grossman (20-13)
Dome Dudes
Syracuse 81, Ole Miss 79

In Ole Miss’ first-ever visit to the Carrier Dome, it’s going to see just how bad the Orange can be at home. Expect Saturday’s game to play out like many of SU’s tight conference wins in the Carrier Dome this season. I won’t promise any John Gillon buzzer-beaters (and hopefully no court storming), but Syracuse will win this second-round shootout to move one win away from playing in a Final Four at Madison Square Garden. Not the Final Four it wanted to be playing in, but a Final Four nonetheless.

Matt Schneidman (15-18)
First time for everything
Syracuse 77, Ole Miss 70

It doesn’t seem like Andrew White is capable of cooling off, and it’s too bad for Syracuse he couldn’t play like this before it was too late to salvage the Orange’s NCAA Tournament hopes. Nine of the Rebels’ 13 losses came to teams that made the NCAA field, but SU plays as it has most of the season at home and comes away with a single-digit victory. One game now stands between Syracuse and a second straight Final Four.

Paul Schwedelson (21-12)
Flim flam bim bam
Ole Miss 83, Syracuse 76

The line in Ole Miss’ fight song — flim flam bim bam — is a good way to describe how Syracuse ended its game against North Carolina-Greensboro on Wednesday. After possessing a 22-point lead, SU nearly coughed it up as the Spartans cut the deficit to as little as seven and had chances to make it a two possession game late. The NIT has been fluky as nine of 16 lower-seeded teams won first-round matchups. Mix in the 11 a.m. start time and that Syracuse didn’t pull away clean in the Round of 32 and several signs point to the Orange’s season coming to an end.

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