With only three games remaining in the regular season, the Syracuse Orange (18-10, 9-6) will take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (11-16, 4-11) Saturday afternoon in North Carolina. A difficult end of the stretch schedule, had led to a couple tough losses in back to back conferencegames against ranked teams, #1 Duke and #5 UNC. Despite playing these two teams well and putting up a fight, a loss is still a loss at the end of the day. Fortunately, the Orange are matchedup against a weak Wake Forest team at just the right time.
Last time out, Syracuse was led by no one other than junior guard, Tyus Battle. In a game where the offense displayed an impressive 85 points, Battle had 29 of them. The team shot just under 50% from the field and an impressive 45% from beyond the arc against UNC.
The defense even played pretty well last time out, but the Syracuse got into foul trouble and it came back to bite them. UNC shot 34-37 at the charity stripe which turned into the difference maker.
Fortunately, the Demon Deacons are nowhere near as consistent from the free throw line, butstill shooting 73%. In order to find success in tomorrow’s matchup, Syracuse has to be moredisciplined and preventing their opponent from getting so many trips to the line. On the other side, Syracuse continues to struggle at the charity stripe. Syracuse hit an awful 58%from the line last time out. Out of Syracuse’s 13 made free throws, Battle made 11 of them. As a team, Syracuse is hitting a dismal 68% of their free throws.
With the ACC tournament just around the corner, a win against Wake Forest would be a major confidence boost for this team. It would also be a crucial game for players such as Oshae Brissett and Frank Howard to get back on track this season.
Syracuse remains an 8 seed in ESPN's Bracketology for the NCAA tournament. They are currently matched up agaisnt the Florida Gators.