Busting Brackets

Oregon vs Syracuse: 2023-24 college basketball game preview, TV schedule

The Syracuse Orange hunt for a signature win under new coach Adrian Autry as they face a bubble candidate in the Oregon Ducks.

2K Empire Classic
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The Syracuse Orange hunt for a signature win under new coach Adrian Autry as they face a bubble candidate in the Oregon Ducks.

TV Schedule: Sunday, December 17th, 1:00 pm ET, CBSSN

Arena: Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

The Oregon Ducks are treading right along the bubble watch line for the 2024 NCAA Tournament. The Syracuse Orange just want to get some good momentum going under first-year coach Adrian Autry.

The fact that this game is being played in South Dakota on a television channel many homes don't get would suggest the glare on this game wouldn't be strong. But after a great Saturday slate, the Sunday schedule isn't that exciting, turning this into one of the biggest contests of the day.

Oregon is hanging on the edges of the NCAA Tournament picture. The team only has two losses and one was to Alabama. Dana Altman could really use the emergence of a star that would strike fear in an opponent. The Ducks' leading scorer is Jermaine Couisnard, who is averaging an uninspiring 12.3 points per game.

Syracuse doesn't have that specific issue; the 7-3 Orange have Judah Mintz averaging 20.1 points per game. But Autry's team hasn't shown an ability to defeat the stronger opponents on the schedule. Tennessee and Gonzaga both dominated Syracuse in Hawaii. Syracuse's most notable wins are against Power 5 also-ran LSU and Georgetown. In its ACC opener, the Orange lost at Virginia by 22 points.

The Orange started getting solid contributions from some Mintz sidekicks in the game against the Hoyas. J.J. Starling hit all three of his three-point attempts and Quadir Copeland stepped up as well - the two combined for 35 points and nine rebounds. Of course, the Ducks will be a different beast.

Oregon's Kario Oquendo and Jackson Shelstad aren't big names, but they're coming off big games against Cal Baptist. The former dropped 19 on the Lancers, while the latter had 17 points and eight assists.

This is only the second time these teams have played each other. The first came five years ago in the 2K Empire Classic in New York City, a 15-point victory for the Ducks.

Oregon shouldn't be able to dominate to that extent on Sunday, but Syracuse's inability to overcome its difficult opponents should rear its head once more in this neutral site contest.

Prediction: Oregon 73, Syracuse 67