Syracuse Basketball: Here are main reasons why SU lost to No. 6 Virginia

Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

Syracuse basketball had yet another shot at a coveted quadrant-one victory on Monday night in Central New York, but the Orange couldn’t quite close things out versus No. 6 Virginia in a 67-62 setback that has myself and many other ‘Cuse fans feeling quite frustrated about the team’s 2022-23 season to date.

The Orange, at present, has lost three in a row and four of its past five Atlantic Coast Conference games. The ‘Cuse, recently, also lost heart-breakers to North Carolina at home by four points, and on the road to top-25 Miami, also by four points.

At this juncture in 2022-23, Syracuse basketball is 13-10 overall and 6-6 in conference contests. If the Orange had been able to secure wins over the Cavaliers, the Tar Heels and the Hurricanes, we’d be talking about a ‘Cuse squad that could have been 16-7 overall and 9-3 in ACC play.

Of course, speaking in hypotheticals is relatively pointless. It’s true that the Orange has won a few close games in the current term. So to say that the ‘Cuse hasn’t been able to seal the deal in any close encounters isn’t accurate.

Syracuse basketball is really struggling these days, after a five-point setback to UVA.

However, if Syracuse basketball had wanted any shot at entering the conversation for a March Madness invite this spring, it has needed to notch quad-one wins. The UVA loss was a quad-one affair. The same is true about the setback at Miami.

UNC is hovering around a quad-one game, based on the Tar Heels’ current NCAA NET ranking. And this past weekend, on the road, the Orange had a quad-one chance at Virginia Tech, but the ‘Cuse got smoked by the Hokies.

On Monday evening at the JMA Wireless Dome, Syracuse basketball actually played pretty well, by and large. The Orange took the No. 6 team in the country down to the wire. After the game was over, ESPN analyst Seth Greenberg said he thought the ‘Cuse played perhaps its best game of the 2022-23 season.

Virginia (17-3, 9-2), a squad that often takes care of the ball with precision, turned the ball over 14 times against the Orange. The ‘Cuse only allowed 67 points.

To me, Syracuse basketball lost to the Cavaliers for a couple of main reasons. Number one, the Orange was awful from deep, going 3-of-15. Secondly, the ‘Cuse was poor at the charity stripe, hitting on just 11-of-18.

Syracuse basketball, like UVA, committed 14 turnovers. And although the battle on the boards was relatively tight (Virginia held a 29-25 advantage), the Orange zone defense did allow 11 offensive rebounds to the Cavaliers, including some at really inopportune times in the second half.

The ‘Cuse shot 50 percent from the field as a whole, and the team had its most success scoring in the paint, led by freshman point guard Judah Mintz with 20 points and senior center Jesse Edwards with 14 points. Edwards did foul out late in this ACC clash, which obviously wasn’t good for the Orange’s chances to knock off UVA.

Next up, Syracuse basketball will look to halt its slide when the ‘Cuse travels to Boston College this Saturday, with the tip-off scheduled for 5 pm from the Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

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