Beat writers predict mixed outcomes for Syracuse’s matchup with No. 20 Duke

first_img Published on January 17, 2016 at 2:48 pm Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse (12-7, 2-4 Atlantic Coast) could get its third straight conference win and leave No. 20 Duke (14-4, 3-2) with its third straight conference loss on Monday. It would be the first time in nine years the Blue Devils would have three straight losses.Here’s how our beat writers think the matchup will unfold.Sam Blum (14-5)Syracuse 80, Duke 73Shining ArmorDuke hasn’t lost three straight games in nine years. Coming off consecutive losses to Clemson and Notre Dame will prime Syracuse for a chance to remake history. And the Orange does it, playing to the same capabilities it flashed in a win over Wake Forest. It’s a tight rotation that SU plays, but a capable one. And it’s enough for the not-so-monumental upset.Jesse Dougherty (14-5)Duke 84, Syracuse 79Duking it outAdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Blue Devils haven’t scored fewer than 80 points at home this season — most recently in a 95-91 loss to Notre Dame at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday — and Syracuse can’t quite keep up with that pace on Monday. The Orange puts in a strong upset bid for 37 minutes, but Duke snaps a two-game losing streak because it’s simply a better team than SU. Syracuse has been playing well, but the Blue Devils’ four-guard lineup will get into the cracks of the zone and hit the right amount of crunch-time 3s to edge the Orange. Grayson Allen, a player built to beat the 2-3 zone, is stellar throughout and that’s ultimately how the game unfolds.Matt Schneidman (13-6)Duke 81, Syracuse 69Third time’s a charmThe Blue Devils haven’t scored below 80 points in a home game this year and they have the shooters in Grayson Allen, Matt Jones and Luke Kennard to beat the Syracuse zone over the top. Duke also hasn’t lost three straight games since the 2006-07 season and an SU team that’s struggled to string together stretches of success since the Bahamas isn’t the team that will break that streak. The Orange tries to pound it inside against a team without big man Amile Jefferson and does so, but Duke is too lethal from deep. Commentscenter_img Related Stories Syracuse basketball opponent preview: What to know about No. 20 Dukelast_img read more