Beat writers predict Syracuse to beat Villanova in Saturday matinee

first_img Published on December 28, 2013 at 11:07 am Facebook Twitter Google+ No. 2 Syracuse takes on No. 8 Villanova at 2 p.m. Saturday in a battle of unbeaten teams. Beat writers David Wilson, Stephen Bailey and Trevor Hass offer up their predictions:David Wilson: Syracuse 74, Villanova 61December statementThe Wildcats have been a nice surprise so far, but the Orange has looked pretty close to a powerhouse at times this season. C.J. Fair has had a lot of good games so far, but hasn’t had his signature performance. It comes on Saturday as he and SU earn one of the program’s biggest wins before the new year in recent memory, even if the final score gets helped by some late free throws.Stephen Bailey: Syracuse 71, Villanova 69‘Caturday clashThis will be Syracuse’s toughest test of the year to date. The Wildcats are experienced, savvy and hot – and they know the Orange’s 2-3 zone inside and out. It’s legitimately a toss-up in my eyes, but I’ll give it to SU at home given C.J. Fair’s sweet late-game stroke this season and Tyler Ennis’ surge as one of the best point guards in the country. A strong performance from Jerami Grant makes the Orange especially difficult to beat, though JayVaughn Pinkston, James Bell and Co. have the athleticism to stay in transition with Syracuse and Ryan Arcidiacono is due for a huge game. Trevor Hass: Syracuse 71, Villanova 66Cat fightVillanova’s legit. It has already beaten Kansas and Iowa – both definite NCAA tournament teams – to catapult into the Top 10. Jay Wright’s team will look for another convincing, resume-boosting win over Syracuse on Saturday. But the Orange is hot, too. SU is also undefeated, and has wins over Baylor and St. John’s. ‘Nova is a great test. JayVaughn Pinkston and Darrun Hilliard are tough matchups, but the Wildcats have no one who can guard C.J. Fair. He’ll have another big game on a big stage and Syracuse will eke out a five-point win. Comments AdvertisementThis is placeholder textlast_img