Tonight, your Wake Forest Demon Deacons take on the Syracuse Orange in the first round of the ACC Tournament, trying to begin what would be the most unlikely run in ACC Tournament history. The Deacs split the season series, winning 73-67 at home on January 3, and falling in the Carrier Dome, 78-70, on February 11. Syracuse is somewhere between a 3 and 4 point favorite, and the O/U is at 110. kenpom has Syracuse winning 69-65 and gives the Deacs a 37% chance of pulling the slight upset.
If we’re going to pull it off, Bryant Crawford is going to need to be an effective zone buster. When we won in Winston, Bryant was quite fantastic on offense, not necessarily super efficient, but reliably hitting mid-range jumpers in the middle of the zone. Of course, Keyshawn Woods, Mitchell Wilbekin, Bryant Crawford, and even Brandon Childress and Chaundee Brown have shown an ability to fill it up with three pointers, but you can’t always count on that. The smartest game plan is with an even mixture of midrange jumpers, deep bombs, and ideally a healthy dose of Doral Moore, who I figure will get any looks he gets against the zone from either alley-oops or passes from the middle right into the key. Playing a zone is such a strange proposition. You can’t exactly play your usual offense, but if you move the ball and take smart shots (like you always should), things usually work out alright.
I genuinely have no idea what to make of this game. If pressed, I’d say Keyshawn has one more infuriatingly good game in him that has us feeling like we should’ve won this and that, and the rest of the guards get a clue long enough to pull out a win, 74-68, but I could absolutely be wrong.