Beat writers forecast mixed outcomes for Syracuse’s matchup with Pittsburgh

first_img Published on February 21, 2015 at 11:39 am Facebook Twitter Google+ Phil D’Abbraccio (20-6): Syracuse 65, Pittsburgh 61Playing the handOn the heels of its 69-59 upset of Louisville on Wednesday, Syracuse has picked up some momentum heading into the final five games of the season. It finally notched its marquee victory and the swagger that comes with that makes this final stretch much less bleak for the Orange. When SU went down to Pittsburgh on Feb. 7, Syracuse played essentially as well as it could’ve without walking away with a win. Replace the Oakland Zoo with the Carrier Dome atmosphere, and we’re looking at a flipped script Saturday afternoon.Jesse Dougherty (21-5): Syracuse 68, Pittsburgh 60The Syracuse zooOK, the Carrier Dome is far from “The Pete” as far as hostility goes, but being away from the Oakland Zoo is just what Syracuse needs to beat Pittsburgh. The Orange came close to edging the Panthers at their place in early February, but faltered down the stretch like it has throughout the season. That won’t happen this time, as SU builds a sizable lead it can lean on in the guts of a game that won’t provide too much heartache. Coming off the best game of his career, Rakeem Christmas shines against a Pittsburgh team not too equipped to shut him down. Jacob Klinger (21-5): Pittsburgh 62, Syracuse 58Panthers have clawsAnd while none of them will prevent Rakeem Christmas from getting his customary double-double, the Syracuse backcourt won’t keep up. It’s not that Pitt’s is anything special – just it’s hard to see Michael Gbinije’s unreal run continuing and, I mean, maybe Trevor Cooney’s due. But I just don’t see it. Who knows. Maybe B.J. Johnson lights it up. That’d be as fun as it is unlikely. Commentslast_img

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