Virginia vs. Syracuse Prediction, Game Preview

    Virginia vs. Syracuse prediction and game preview. The Cavaliers try to snap the Orange's three-game winning streak when they meet Saturday.

    February 3, 2017

    Virginia vs. Syracuse prediction and game preview. The Cavaliers try to snap the Orange’s three-game winning streak when they meet Saturday.


    Virginia vs. Syracuse Game Preview

    When: Saturday, Feb. 4 – Noon ET
    Where: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
    TV Broadcast: ESPN2

    Virginia’s only blemish over the last three-plus weeks is a loss at the buzzer at then-No. 1 Villanova, when it blew a nine-point halftime lead. And it didn’t take long for the Cavaliers to get back to their winning ways as London Perrantes, Devon Hall and Isaiah Wilkins guided them to a 71-48 rout of Virginia Tech on Wednesday. Virginia has won six of seven games following back-to-back losses to Florida State and Pittsburgh despite the up-and-down play of Perrantes.

    The senior guard has shot 48.5 percent in four career games against Syracuse, though, and an effort like that would be welcomed against an Orange team that has won three in a row. Syracuse is tough to figure out, as it stands at 14-9 with a 6-4 mark in ACC play. It beat N.C. State, 100-93, in overtime on Wednesday following a 10-point win over then-No. 6 Florida State, but it also has losses to Boston College, St. John’s, Georgetown and UConn on its resume.

    It’s also anyone’s guess what the Orange will get from John Gillon on Saturday. The senior guard scored 21 points and dished out 11 assists against FSU and followed that up by exploding for 43 points – including 20 straight at one point – and 9 dimes against the Wolfpack. However, he scored fewer than 10 points in nine of 10 games prior to those efforts. Gillon has five games of at least 15 points and hasn’t scored in double figures in 13.

    Virginia Wins If …

    … it controls the pace. It’s not secret that the Cavs like to slow the game down with half-court offense and defend opponents throughout the shot clock. They rank among the national leaders in field goal percentage defense and are allowing the fewest points per game in the country at 53.4. But Syracuse has scored more than 80 in each game during its winning streak and will try to rush Virginia. Perrantes also will need to get into a groove like he did against Virginia Tech and not like his last road game, when he went 2 for 11 from the floor against Villanova.

    Syracuse Wins If …

    … its hot shooting continues. The Orange hit 56.1 percent of their shots against N.C. State and drained 15 from 3-point range. Solving Virginia’s stifling defense means cashing in on the few possessions the Orange will get as the Cavs try to control the clock. Andrew White III’s performance Wednesday was overshadowed by Gillon’s, but White scored 28 points and is averaging 26.3 over his last three games while shooting 49 percent from the floor.

    Matchup To Watch

    White vs. Perrantes

    This is more a matchup of star players rather than anything head-to-head on the court. White has been a crucial graduate transfer from Nebraska for Syracuse and provides a scoring punch the Orange need. Perrantes is Virginia’s leader in every sense of the word. Whoever puts on the best performance should lead their team to a win.

    Betting Odds

    Spread: Virginia -7
    Over/Under: No line as of post

    Virginia vs. Syracuse Prediction

    Syracuse won’t go quietly, but Virginia will walk out of the Carrier Dome victorious. The Cavs’ defense will frustrate the Orange into taking bad shots and get them out off their game, while Perrantes hits five 3-pointers at the other end against Syracuse’s zone.

    Virginia vs. Syracuse final score prediction: Virginia 68, Syracuse 56

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