Beat writers split in predicting Syracuse’s game against North Carolina State

first_imgNorth Carolina State (16-9, 6-6 Atlantic Coast) plays at Syracuse (17-8, 6-6) on Wednesday night coming off an 89-point outing against North Carolina. But the Wolfpack lost that game, allowing 96. Syracuse is coming off two wins in a row, including most recently in the Carrier Dome against Wake Forest on Sunday. NCSU and SU have equivalent conference records, which won’t be true by the end of Wednesday’s game. See how our beat writers think the matchup will play out.Matthew Gutierrez (21-4)Happy Valentine’s DayN.C. State 60, Syracuse 59With six games left, Syracuse needs to go at least 3-3 to remain in the Tournament conversation. Going 4-2 would likely punch its ticket to the Big Dance. A win Wednesday would really help, as ranked opponents and tough road games lie ahead. But North Carolina State has a number of 3-point threats and good wins over North Carolina (road), Duke (home) and Clemson (home). The Wolfpack scored 89 points against UNC last weekend, shooting 7-for-13 from deep. Wednesday night’s Valentine’s Day contest will be super close — buzzer-beater? — but N.C. State has proven it may have the strength and depth to pull out a road win.Sam Fortier (19-6)Hungry like the WolfSyracuse 78, N.C. State 74AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe best thing about this matchup is the return of Omer Yurtseven, the 7-foot Turkish big man who once randomly dropped by the Syracuse campus for a visit and later, in national team play, scored 91 points in a single game. Yurtseven, once-projected in the lottery of the 2017 NBA Draft, has become a focal point of the N.C. State team by becoming a defense-anchoring rim-protector on a team that’s second-tallest player in its starting lineup, Torin Dorn, measures up to 6-foot-6. With four scoring options spaced around the perimeter — N.C. State ranks 43rd in offensive efficiency, per Kenpom.com — Yurtseven protects inside. How the Orange defends and attacks N.C. State will be interesting, but SU has the tools to do it. Syracuse needs this one at home, and they’ll get it over a fellow bubble team with a near-identical resume.Tomer Langer (18-7)Running with the wolvesSyracuse 68, N.C. State 65I have a feeling this game is gonna be pretty close, as N.C. State can really fill it up on offense. But SU has shown an ability to keep up over its last two games, particularly with its 48-percent mark from 3. SU’s hot shooting continues and the defense does just enough to pull out another victory. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 14, 2018 at 4:21 pmlast_img