|-2.5 SYR (-109) @ pinnacle|
My 9* Happy Hour "Best Bet" is on Syracuse at 5:00 ET.
Clemson was 9-1 and ranked 12th when it welcomed Virginia to Littlejohn Coliseum back on Jan 16. The Tigers were coming off an extended pause due to a positive COVID-19 test and subsequent contact tracing. The 11-day break clearly did not turn out well, as UVa routed Clemson 85-50. That was the first of three straight losses in which the Tigers averaged 58.7 PPG! However, the Tigers have rebounded by winning SIX of seven including FIVE in a row. 15-5 Clemson (9-5 in the ACC) travels to the Carrier Dome to take on a Syracuse team that has won four of six to reach 14-8 (8-7 in the ACC) but more notably, is 12-1 at home!
Clemson head coach Brad Brownell is in his 11th season with the Tigers and his team is poised to make the NCAA tourney for just the THIRD time this season. Clemson returned four starters from last season's team plus Fordham transfer Nick Honor became eligible. The Tigers are led by 6-8 senior forward Simms (13.6 & 6.2). He's joined in the starting lineup by the 6-8 Tyson (6.3 & 4.7) plus guards Honor (9.1), Trapp (7.0 & 5.6) and Hemenway (4.6). Dawes (8.5) and Newman (4.3) come off the bench in the backcourt and the 6-10 Baehre (4.5 & 4.4) in the frontcourt. ,p> Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim knows all about appearing in the "Big Dance" but his team's at-large resume this season still needs some help. Syracuse has a solid starting-five, with only guard Richmond (6.9-3.1-3.3) contributing off the bench. The Orange own a strong starting frontline in SF Griffin (15.0 & 6.5), the 6-7 Guerrier (14.8 & 9.0) and the 6-10 Dolezag (10.7 & 5.2). SG Buddy Boeheim scored 26 points in Saturday's win over the Tar Heels and now leads the team in scoring (15.9) and is paired in the backcourt by PG Girard (9.7 & 3.1 APG).
Both teams come in playing well and this late-season showdown has plenty of postseason repercussions. Syracuse can't help but remember suffering a 17-point loss at Clemson back on Feb 6 and the Orange will celebrate "Senior Night" on Wednesday. Syracuse has more 'firepower' than Clemson and a look back at that Clemson win at home on Feb 6 and we find that the Tigers shot 52.9% from the floor, 10 points HIGHER than the team's season FG percentage of 42.5. Syracuse gets a MUCH-needed win!