Syracuse Basketball: How to watch the Orange battle Pittsburgh in ACC bruiser at Dome

Syracuse basketball begins the heart of its 2023-24 ACC schedule when the Orange hosts Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon.
Syracuse basketball begins the heart of its 2023-24 ACC schedule when the Orange hosts Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon. / Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse basketball and long-time rival Pittsburgh will clash on Saturday afternoon in Central New York, with each team sporting an identical record and an identical winning streak.

Prior to some time off over the winter break, the Orange (9-3, 0-1 in the ACC) notched an 83-71 victory over fellow Empire State team Niagara on the Hill to round out non-conference play.

While the ‘Cuse sported a solid 9-2 mark during its challenging non-conference docket, head coach Adrian Autry wasn’t pleased with how his players finished off their win over the Purple Eagles in the latter part of the second half.

Now the Orange is set to host the Panthers (9-3, 0-1 in the ACC), as Atlantic Coast Conference competition kicks into high gear for the remainder of the 2023-24 regular season.

How to watch Syracuse basketball battle Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Entering this conference encounter, both the ‘Cuse and Pitt have some momentum. Each squad has won four straight, and Syracuse basketball is 6-1 in its last seven contests.

The Panthers and the Orange are scheduled to tip off beginning at noon on Saturday, Dec. 30, with television coverage on The CW Network. You can also check out fuboTV as a possible coverage option.

Pittsburgh has defeated the ‘Cuse on three consecutive occasions, although Syracuse basketball leads the all-time series, 74-50.

At this juncture, the Panthers are the Orange are outside the proverbial bubble for the 2024 NCAA Tournament, but both teams can play their way into the Big Dance conversation by starting off the meat of their respective ACC calendars in a strong manner.

When I wrote this column, KenPom placed Pitt at No. 44 overall, and the ‘Cuse checked in at No. 86 nationally. Over at the NCAA’s NET rankings, the Panthers were No. 39, as compared to No. 83 for Syracuse basketball.

In my opinion, the Orange has faced a tougher 2023-24 schedule to date. Pittsburgh owns wins over North Carolina A&T, Binghamton, Florida Gulf Coast, Jacksonville, Oregon State, West Virginia, Canisius, South Carolina State and Purdue Fort Wayne.

Conversely, the Panthers have fallen to Florida, Missouri and fellow ACC member Clemson.

Historically, Pittsburgh often gives the Orange trouble on the glass. Coming into this game, the Panthers are averaging 42.4 rebounds per meeting, whereas the ‘Cuse grabs 37.9 boards per affair.

Pitt scores 81.1 points per game and allows 63.4 points. Syracuse basketball is averaging 78.2 points per contest while giving up 70.2 points.

In the turnover department, the Panthers take pretty good of the ball, only committing 9.7 miscues per game. The Orange averages 12.3 turnovers per encounter.

As a collective unit, Syracuse basketball connects on 45.5 percent from the field, 72.4 percent from the free-throw line, and 33.7 percent from downtown.

On the flip side, Pittsburgh makes 44.9 percent from the field, 68.4 percent from the charity stripe, and 34.6 percent from beyond the arc.

One Pitt player to monitor is senior forward Blake Hinson, who averages 20.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game, while hitting on 47.6 percent from the field, 45.9 percent from long range and 66.7 percent from the free-throw line.

Both Hinson and Orange sophomore point guard Judah Mintz, at the time of this writing, arrived within the top five of the ACC in points per contest.

After Syracuse basketball hosts Pittsburgh, the calendar year turns to 2024, and next up for the ‘Cuse is a road date with No. 16 Duke (8-3). That ACC affair will start at 9 pm on Tuesday, Jan. 2, from Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C., with television coverage anticipated to be on ESPN.

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