- The Virginia Cavaliers (10-2, 6-0 ACC) host the Syracuse Orange (9-4, 3-3 ACC) on Monday, Jan. 25
- Virginia is coming off a thrilling 64-62 comeback win against Georgia Tech Saturday, while Syracuse picked up an emphatic 78-60 victory at home over Virginia Tech
- Read below for odds, analysis, and our best bet for this matchup
The Virginia Cavaliers (10-2, 6-0 ACC), winners of six in a row, host the Syracuse Orange (9-4, 3-3 ACC) Monday, Jan. 25 in Charlottesville. Tip is set for 7 pm EST inside John Paul Jones Arena.
Virginia is the only undefeated team in the ACC and the highest-rated squad in the conference by KenPom, checking in at No. 9. The Wahoos’ closest competition is No. 16 Florida State, with every other program outside the top-30. But Syracuse, with a quality win over 16th-ranked Virginia Tech in its back pocket, enters Charlottesville brimming with confidence.
Syracuse vs Virginia Odds
|Syracuse Orange||+6.5 (-114)||+235||Ov 128.5 (-112)|
|Virginia Cavaliers||-6.5 (-106)||-290||Un 128.5 (-108)|
Odds taken Jan. 24 FanDuel.
The ‘Cuse have now won two in a row (Jim Boeheim’s group beat Miami 83-57 Tuesday) following an ugly 20-point loss to Pittsburgh. Saturday’s win by the Orange was the first over a ranked opponent since knocking off — you guessed it — the Cavaliers 63-55 in C’ville in overtime last Jan. 11.
Meanwhile, Tony Bennett’s squad rallied from a double-digit second half deficit to snap the Yellow Jackets’ upset bid. Junior guard Kihei Clark had a rough night, shooting 1-of-10 from the field. But his lone bucket broke a 62-all tie with just over a minute to go and proved to be the game-winner.
Now, Virginia will try to remain perfect in ACC play Monday against Syracuse.
Paint It Orange
The Orange beat the red-hot Hokies, who had won three in a row and seven of their last eight, in unlikely fashion. Syracuse outscored Va Tech 46-24 inside the paint. Not bad a for a team that usually lives and dies beyond the arc.
“This was a game to attack the basket, go to the foul line and try to get around the basket area,” longtime coach Jim Boeheim said. “And that’s what we did.”
Syracuse got 53 of its 78 points from its starting frontcourt. The trio of Quincy Guerrier (20 points), Marek Dolezaj (18) and Alan Griffin (15) also combined to shoot 18-of-31 from the floor.
Virginia was down 11 points in the second half. But thanks to Sam Hauser’s season-high 22-point performance (11 of which came in the final ten minutes), UVa gutted out a gritty win over a more-than-capable G-Tech crew. Hauser was an assassin from distance, knocking down 4-of-5 from 3-point range and also grabbing 6 rebounds.
Fellow senior Jay Huff also had a big night. The 7-foot-1 Durham, North Carolina native had 18 points on 7-for-11 shooting with five blocks. Three of those blocks came over the final three minutes of the game as Virginia tried to hold onto the lead late.
“Our fifth-year seniors did what fifth-year seniors needed to do and they kind of took over the game in the right way, and we needed it,” Bennett said after the thriller.
The Cavaliers were the preseason pick to win the conference and the team that won the last national championship has lived up to the hype.
With the Seminoles nipping at the Wahoos’ heals, Bennett’s group can’t afford a slip-up at home Monday. The last time UVa had a two-day turnaround this season, the Cavaliers were stunned by San Francisco 61-60 in the Homelight Classic following their season-opener two days prior. That loss still stands as one of the biggest this season.
Syracuse had better luck with its only two-day turnaround to date, following up its 75-45 win over Niagara Dec. 3 with an even bigger 87-52 victory over fellow Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference foe Rider Dec. 5.
How each side responds Monday to the short turnaround will be key. Of course, Virginia has the distinct advantage being the home team. KenPom predicts this one going to the ‘Hoos, 68-61. There could be a bit of a letdown factor for Syracuse in this spot. And with UVa knowing it needs a better effort than Saturday’s to get a win, I expect renewed focus from Bennett’s group.
The pick: Virginia -6.5 (-106)