Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/17/13
Vermont_v_syracuse_7462
The best team coming in to the ACC from the Big East is Syracuse; they have been good under Jim Boeheim with 34 twenty-win seasons in his 36 years as coach.  They have won one national championship under Boeheim, and last season made another trip to the Final Four.  They will be just as good in the ACC as they were in the Big East. They lost a key piece to their team a season ago in Michael Carter-Williams, and will have to find a point guard.  If they can find a replacement, this team should make a run at an ACC title.  The Duke Blue Devils and Syracuse Orange will be the top two teams in the ACC this year, and will play two big games against each other. Syracuse has size, and lots of it, and this year the Blue Devils could struggle with such a team.  The Orange has a former Duke Blue Devil in Michael Gbinije, who will have an opportunity to play this season.  Gbinije would be one of the Duke Blue Devils biggest players, but he could play the guard position for Syracuse.  The mismatch in the paint is going to be a big issue for the Blue Devils in this matchup. Syracuse likes to play a 2-3 zone on defense, and plays the zone more than any other team.  This could take away the Blue Devils athletic advantage, and could leave them struggling offensively.  Syracuse will look to play more of a half court game, try to get the ball inside and getting back on the defensive end. On offense, Syracuse will look to play an inside out game, and try to run their offense until they can get an easy basket.  They will try to look to spread the Blue Devils defense, and try to get them making mistakes. On defense Syracuse will look to take away the three point shot of the Blue Devils.  They will also look to take away their penetration, and look to make them run clock to cut down the number of possessions. The Blue Devils on offense will have to look to knock down shots to loosen up the defense, and look to penetrate on the defense.  They will have to work on their offenses for the 2-3 zones.  They haven’t had to face many of these, and none that are as good as Syracuse defense.  They will need to look to get out on the run, and get as many easy baskets as possible. On defense the Blue Devils will have to look to create turnovers, and pressure the ball as much as possible.  They need mistakes, and with a new point guard for the season Syracuse might be vulnerable.  In this game Duke will need to get their defense to lead to offense. This is a tough matchup for the Blue Devils, and will help them get ready for the NCAA tournament when they have to play a great team with size.  The first game is at Syracuse and it should be a situation where both home teams will win.  The first game of this matchup Duke will take too many jump shots instead of trying to get to the basket.  The home crowd should help both teams, this is a team that could beat Duke twice, but with this being the first time that Syracuse will play at Duke the home crowd should help get Duke the win in the second game.
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