Beat writers select Syracuse to beat Cornell handily before start of ACC play

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first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Amid one of its worst stretches in recent years and only days removed from its worst-ever Carrier Dome loss, Syracuse (7-5) will look to avoid another humiliating nonconference loss against Cornell (3-8) on Tuesday night in the Carrier Dome. The Big Red lost by four to Colgate, a team SU blew out by 28 points in the season opener, and have lost three of four. But Syracuse, which begins Atlantic Coast Conference play next week, has dropped five of its last eight.Our beat writers explain below how they think Tuesday’s matchup between in-state foes will unfold.Connor Grossman (7-5)Point of no returnSyracuse 81, Cornell 55If Syracuse was a car on the highway, it’s pulling off for a final rest stop. It’s the last one for the next three months. What should have been a relatively smooth drive up to this point has been anything but that, and SU is now left with one cushy opponent before conference play begins. Running the numbers on inferior opponents has proved senseless up to this point. That’s because we don’t know which Syracuse team is going to show up: The one that trounces weak teams by 30 or the one that gets bullied by the same margin. SU should win on Tuesday. But if nothing else, we’ve learned that means nothing.Matt Schneidman (8-4)Calm before the stormSyracuse 78, Cornell 58AdvertisementThis is placeholder textI’m not going to dive into stats or analytics since, well, Syracuse has showed those clearly don’t matter in determining the outcome of a game. St. John’s had no business beating the Orange, let alone by 33, but this SU team has defied logic when predicting these games. So this prediction will go as so: Syracuse will dominate Cornell because it should, not because the Big Red turns the ball over a certain number of times or because Cornell shoots a certain percentage from beyond the arc compared to from 2-point range. Cornell is 3-8 and that’s even worse than St. John’s coming in, so enjoy the New Year with a Syracuse win before it gets ugly.Paul Schwedelson (8-4)The last giftSyracuse 79, Cornell 61The Orange can’t afford to lose another game before conference play begins, but SU won’t have to worry against Cornell. Syracuse should cruise in the second half as the stress meter drops to the lowest it will be the rest of the season. Eleven of the ACC’s 15 teams have winning percentages above .800 and the Orange will be scrapping for wins over the next two months. That is, after SU blows out the Big Red, a team that doesn’t have a player averaging more than 5.3 boards per game and a team that ranks 340th in the country in height, per Kenpom.com. Comments Published on December 26, 2016 at 3:51 pmlast_img

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