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Can the Hokies take down Syracuse? [Credit: Harley Taylor][/caption]The Virginia Tech Hokies are back in Cassell Coliseum to face a Syracuse Orange team that picked up a big win on Saturday in the Carrier Dome over Pittsburgh and knows that this is a big chance to get a high quality road win. However, Cassell Coliseum will be ready to rock as the first few games of conference games have shown the importance of protecting your home floor this year.
Syracuse wasn't great in non-conference play, but the win over Pittsburgh was quite important for a team that is going to have to probably win 10 or 11 conference games to have a chance at making the NCAA Tournament despite how loaded the ACC is this season.
One thing that Syracuse has been known to be in the past is a good shooting team and this year is no different as they are shooting 39% from beyond the arc led by Tyler Lydon who is shooting almost 45% from beyond the arc this season and averaging 13.5 points while also being quite effective at attacking the glass averaging 7.9 rebounds per game.
Expect the Hokies to have Chris Clarke matched up against the athletic Lydon a lot in this game with both being athletic forwards that can attack the rim and crash the boards athletically with Clarke not being as good of a shooter as Lydon but being more athletic and better at attacking the rim. Clarke will need to play well on both ends of the floor against Lydon and whoever wins this battle could end up winning this game.
Syracuse has some quality rebounders in their frontcourt in addition to Lydon with DaJuan Coleman and Tyler Roberson who both are averaging at least 5 rebounds in under 20 minutes per game while Roberson is known as being a great offensive rebounder. It will be of the utmost importance for guys like Zach LeDay and Khadim Sy to be effective on the glass especially on the defensive end where Roberson can make big things happen with a few offensive boards.
Syracuse may be a good shooting team, but the Hokies are even better and have been especially good at home with guys like Ahmed Hill and Justin Bibbs to lead the way on the outside. Virginia Tech has done a great job of dishing the ball around the arc throughout the season with Justin Robinson being quite effective at attacking the rim and then either getting a layup or dishing it to an open shooter.
Virginia Tech has played very good team basketball this season that has given plenty of opponents fits including Duke in the Hokies' previous home game and a guy like Ahmed Hill seems poised for a big game. Hill has played well over the past fw games, but sems poised to have a really big scoring outbreak sometime soon.
Syracuse will keep it competitive against the Hokies in this matchup but going on the road in the ACC is a big challenge and Cassell Coliseum is no different than any other ACC venue. Led by a strong performance from Ahmed Hill and the Hokies' guards, Virginia Tech will take care of business back at home to stay undefeated in Blacksburg this season.
Pick: Virginia Tech 77, Syracuse 67
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