Beat writers expect Duke to beat Syracuse by double-digits

first_imgCHARLOTTE, N.C. — Syracuse (20-12, 10-8 Atlantic Coast) set up a third meeting this season with Duke (26-5, 14-4) by beating Pittsburgh on Wednesday, 73-59. The Blue Devils had a double bye to the ACC tournament quarterfinals. It’ll be the rubber match between two teams that beat each other on the road this season.Here’s what our beat writers expect to happen.Billy Heyen (24-8)Dancing with the DevilsDuke 80, Syracuse 61Tyus Battle, per Jim Boeheim, is “probably two or three days” from being ready to play. Syracuse has no reason to risk him against Duke in a game that means a lot more to fans than to NCAA Tournament implications. Without Battle, there’s not enough firepower for the Orange to keep up with Duke’s four freshmen for 40 minutes. SU will get some rest ahead of Selection Sunday with Wednesday’s win keeping them safely in the field. Charlie DiSturco (23-9)The big 4Duke 82, Syracuse 60AdvertisementThis is placeholder textYet another showdown between Syracuse and Duke this season. Unlike the other two times, the Blue Devils will start their death lineup that includes Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, Tre Jones and Cam Reddish. I thought this same prediction earlier in the year before Reddish’s sickness and Jones’ injury mid-game, and I think the same will hold true. Duke is just too good for SU, especially with Tyus Battle battling injury. Matthew Gutierrez (19-13)Duke dominanceDuke 75, Syracuse 62It’s hard to envision scenarios in which Syracuse comes out on top Thursday. The only way would be a lights-out shooting display. Otherwise, even a few big games from individual players probably won’t be enough against a national title contender in the Blue Devils at full strength. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 14, 2019 at 10:49 amlast_img

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