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Syracuse-Providence: Preview and Prediction

Jan 9, 2013; Providence, RI USA; Providence Friars guard Bryce Cotton (11) dribbles the ball as Syracuse Orange guard Brandon Triche (20) and forward C.J. Fair (5) defend during the second half at the Dunkin

Syracuse looks to maintain their place at the top of the Big East with a win over Providence. Tip off is set for 7:00 inside the Carrier Dome, and is being televised on ESPN2.

Providence enters this game as one of the hotter teams in the Big East. The Friars have won four in a row, which have included wins over two ranked teams. Most recently, the Friars blew out the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and Ed Cooley’s bunch have never been more confident. The Friars hung tough with Syracuse in the two team’s first meeting before Syracuse pulled away late, winning the game 72-66. Here are the probable starting lineups in the Dome tonight:

Providence

Syracuse

G- Kris Dunn, 6’3 Freshman

G- Michael Carter-Williams 6’6 Sophomore

G- Bryce Cotton, 6’1 Junior

G- Brandon Triche, 6’4 Senior

G- Vincent Council, 6’2 Senior

F- Jerami Grant, 6’8 Freshman

F- Kadeem Batts, 6’10 Junior

F- CJ Fair, 6’8 Junior

F- LaDontae Henton, 6’6 Sophomore

F- Rakeem Christmas, 6’9 Sophomore

The Friars are led by junior guard Bryce Cotton. One of the front runners for Big East Player of the Year, Cotton is averaging over 20 points a game, carrying the Friars to where they are to this point in the season. Cotton is a deadly three point threat, and is the one player that has the potential to go off against the Orange’s 2-3 zone.

Down low, Syracuse will have their hands full with junior forward Kadeem Batts. Batts averages just under 15 points a game, while grabbing seven rebounds a contest as well. With the success Connecticut had on the glass in combination with Fuquan Edwin’s success on the boards against Syracuse, we can definitely expect to see it as a point of emphasis for the Orange to put a body on Batts. If the Orange can limit the Friars from second chance points, they should be able to get this victory.

This game will be interesting to see because of the scenario surrounding it. The Friars are one of the hottest teams in the Big East, while Syracuse has a rivalry game against a co-leader in the Big East in front of the largest basketball crowd in Carrier Dome history. I don’t think Syracuse will overlook the Friars, but with the way this team has handled the first half of a lot of games, this one could be close at intermission. If that is the case, the confidence of the Friars could keep them in this ballgame all the way, especially if they believe they can win it as the game progresses.

Should Syracuse win this game, the Orange will extend the nation’s longest home winning streak to 38 games. A win would also be Syracuse’s 32nd Big East win out of their previous 36. I think that the Orange are too good at home, and will win this game because they know what it means to their season.

Prediction

Syracuse 78

Providence 60

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Topics: Basketball, Providence Friars, Syracuse Orange

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