Time: 7 p.m. ET
Venue: Littlejohn Coliseum, Clemson, SC
Where to watch: ACC Network
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Clemson -4
FanDuel: Clemson -3.5
BetMGM: Clemson -3.5
Caesars: Clemson -4
Syracuse: 16-11 (9-7 ACC)
Clemson: 19-8 (11-5 ACC)
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Syracuse - Clemson preview, prediction and analysis
The Clemson Tigers will try to win their 20th game of the season and try to make a last-minute run to the top of the ACC standings when they host the Syracuse Orange on Wednesday in South Carolina.
Clemson could have been the team to challenge Virginia or Miami atop the standings, but four losses in five games — including losses to Boston College and Louisville — have dampened those hopes and have made it seem like this group can’t win when it counts. Right now, it’s a far cry from when Clemson was a top team in the nation at 15-3 to now, where they’ve gone 3-5 in their last eight.
Nothing seemed lower than losing to lowly Louisville on Saturday, 83-73, in what was the Tigers’ most disappointing loss this season. PJ Hall finished with 28 points and eight rebounds in what semed like a dominant game from the big man, but Clemson didn’t get any more consistency offensively. Brevin Galloway had 16 points on 5 of 10, and Chase Hunter added 15 on 7 of 13 to go with six assists and give rebounds, but Clemson as a whole shot 43 percent from the floor. That’s not good enough, especially when Louisville makes 51 percent of its shots.
But the fact of the matter is Clemson has struggled big time and is nowhere near the team that was shocking people at the beginning of the year. Hunter Tyson has been quiet as of late, and went just 5 of 14 from the floor. Your leading scorer and rebounder needs to be better than 12 points and four rebounds. It’s situations like that that just don’t make sense.
Syracuse, meanwhile, had a three-game winning streak end over the weekend by getting thumped 77-55 to the Duke Blue Devils at home. The Carrier Dome was a house of horrors on this day. It’s never a good sign when two of your players combine for 39 of your 55 points and the team still shoots a whopping 34.5 percent from the floor. It’s been that kind of year for Syracuse in terms of the inconsistency realm.
Syracuse just isn’t where it should be right now, and it makes you wonder how much longer Jim Boeheim has left. The legendary coach hasn’t given any indication he’ll retire. He’ll coach until the wheels fall off. But with the evolution of the ACC, is Boeheim falling behind the cracks? One can only imagine, but it’s going to be an interesting postseason should Syracuse go on another classic, low-seed Boeheim run where his kids happen to play.
I think Syracuse has enough in the tank to make this very interesting and I think they’ll have the capabilities on the road to make it challenging. I can’t see Clemson screwing this up. They’re at home, they’re angry at how the Louisville game went. There’s just no way they blow this. If they do, I’ll never speak highly of them again. Clemson 78, Syracuse 72
Home team is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings.
Favorite has gone 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings.
Clemson is 4-1 ATS in its last five home games.
Projected starting lineup
PG: Joe Girardi III
SG: Judah Mintz
SF: Chris Bell
PF: Maliq Brown
C: Jesse Edwards
PG: Brevin Galloway
SG: Chase Hunter
SF: Ian Schieffelin
PF: Hunter Tyson
C: P.J. Hall
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