Beat writers predict Syracuse men’s basketball to fall at No. 11 North Carolina

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first_imgAbout 24 hours after blowing out Boston College in the Carrier Dome, Syracuse (11-7, 3-2 Atlantic Coast) headed for the airport en route to North Carolina. An Orange team that has won three of its last four will face off against the No. 11 Tar Heels (16-3, 4-1), who just beat No. 9 Florida State 96-83. The SU-UNC 2016 Final Four rematch starts Monday at 7 p.m. and will air nationally on ESPN.Our beat writers explain below why they think SU will fall to UNC.Connor Grossman (10-8)Winter bluesNorth Carolina 72, Syracuse 64Against Georgia Tech earlier this season, North Carolina floundered against a zone defense. The Tar Heels’ 63 points against the Yellow Jackets is the fewest its scored all year, and Georgia Tech has continued to surprise at the onset of conference play. But don’t expect North Carolina to get tripped up again. UNC is coming off a convincing win against Florida State — a team now believed to be among the ACC’s best — and simply has the personnel to outmatch Syracuse. Off the glass, behind the arc and on the scoreboard, North Carolina edges the Orange in almost all facets.Matt Schneidman (9-9)RammedNorth Carolina 79, Syracuse 70AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNorth Carolina is the best offensive rebounding team in the country, according to, and that bodes terribly for a Syracuse team susceptible to giving up second-chance opportunities. The Tar Heels boast arguably the ACC’s best frontcourt with Justin Jackson, Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks, a trio that will give SU’s front line fits on the glass. It will take a Herculean effort from at least two Syracuse players to pull off the upset, and I just don’t see the Orange having that in them in the raucous Dean Dome on Monday night.Paul Schwedelson (11-7)Runner-upNorth Carolina 83, Syracuse 67The Orange has won three of its last four, but in a Final Four rematch, expect SU to be the runner-up Monday night against last year’s national runner-up. The No. 11 Tar Heels pose so many threats that Syracuse just won’t be able to keep up. UNC averages 14.4 seconds per possession, according to Kenpom, which ranks 10th in the country. One way North Carolina can beat the Syracuse zone is by running out in transition and attacking before SU can even set up. And the Tar Heels are certainly a team built to do that. Comments Published on January 16, 2017 at 1:09 am Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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