The Five Big Obstacles Before Villanova
We all need to take a step back for a minute. Yes everyone is bringing out their inner child and getting all giddy about the huge meeting between the #3 (#1 in our hearts) Syracuse Orangemen and the #2 Villanova Wildcats. It’s already sold out to a tune of 34,616, eclipsing the previous record set in ‘06 for Gerry’s final game in the Dome (which also just happened to be against Nova). There are even dueling T-shirts in production already:
H/T TNIAAM & CNYCentral.com
The thing some are forgetting is there are 5 games before that meeting of the giants of the Big East. So I’m here to bring everyone back to earth a little, and give a preview of those 5 games, and some predictions. Including one against what some say is our main rival, UConn. Those fans need to get it straight, our main rival is Georgetown, get over it. See HoyaSuxa for more info.
@ Cincinnati Bearcats: 2/07/10 14-8, 11-1 at home
Cincy is somewhat of a bubble team as of right now. They are looking for a signature win to give them that push over the edge they may need to play past the Big East Tournament. They’re coming off a loss at Notre Dame, so they will be hungry to get back to winning. There are some that feel Cincy could pull the upset including Seth Davis and there may be some truth to that. They are 11-1 this season at home, and last year SU lost at Cincy. Led by Lance Stephenson (12.0 ppg, 5 rebs), and Deonta Vaughn (11.9 ppg) they average 71.3 ppg and allow 65.4 ppg. This game will not be a wall to wall blow out, but I feel SU will still walk away in the second half to a comfortable win. SU 79-CIN 66.
Connecticut Husky’s: 2/10/10 13-9, 0-5 on the road
Where to start with UConn… Their coach left because he didn’t want to be apart of a losing team… I mean he left because of “health issues” that haven’t been made public (This is where we need TMZsports.com), but the timing of his leave just seems too coincidental. They look to finish strong after a lackluster first ¾ and need to finish strong going into the Big East tourney. This will be the first meeting between SU and UConn since the epic Six OT game (SixOvertimes.com), and you can bet there is still allot of players on that side that have a bad taste in their mouth because of it. UConn has 4 players averaging double figures, Jerome Dyson (19ppg), Stanley Robinson (16.5ppg, 7.6rbs), Kemba Walker (13.5ppg 6asts), Gavin Edwards (10.8ppg). They average 14.6 turnovers per game so look for Andy to have a good game on the defensive end, and the trap to work wonders. This game always worries me, no matter how bad UConn seems to look, but this year I have no problem calling a blow out. SU 91-UConn 71.
Louisville Cardinals: 2/14/10 14-8, 1-5 on the road
This is the one that should worry everyone. I consider them the most unpredictable team in the Big East. They have 8 losses but if you dig deeper into it you’ll see a loss to Pitt in OT, loss to Nova by 8, beat Uconn by 13, and took WVU to the limit. Add in our recent troubles with them and you have the makings for an upset. We lost to them twice last year including in the Big East tourney, and we are 0-4 against them in the last 3 years. Their top scorers are Samardo Samuels (15.5ppg, 7.3rebs) and Edgar Sosa (13.6ppg). Even though it worries me I’m giving the Orange the edge, but not posting a final prediction as of right now.
@ Georgetown: 2/18/10 16-5, 10-2 at home.
I think we all learned everything we needed to know about the hated Hoyas last month. They can not be allowed to get out to the type of lead that they did here at the Dome, if they do the conclusion will more than likely be much different. There will be a healthy Orange following down there, including myself and a party of 14 others. We will do everything in our power to get the Let’s Go Orange chants going but will be drowned out by the Hoya faithful, or as I like to call them ’Future convicts’.
@ Providence: 2/23/10 12-10, 8-4 at home
This may be the shortest preview ever. Although we lost to them at Providence last year, we beat them by 17 without Wes for nearly the full second half last week. If it wasn’t for an ugly 4 minutes it would have been 20+. No matter what we must come out the gates strong and finish strong, SU needs all the momentum we can get going into the showdown with Nova.