After splitting Thursday nights first four games of the SEC/Big East Challenge, the Big East looks poised to take hold of the series with tonight’s four match-ups. Let’s take a look at Friday’s slate of games.
#6 Syracuse @ Arkansas
Quick trivia question: when was the last time Syracuse lost a regular season non-conference game?
Answer: Cleveland State in the Carrier Dome in 2008. You might remember Cedric Jackson’s 60+ foot heave at the buzzer against a Jonny Flynn-led Syracuse team to defeat the Orange, 72-69. Since that game, Syracuse has swept its non-conference slate, which has included multiple games against Florida and Memphis as well as match-ups against California, North Carolina, Michigan, Michigan State, Georgia Tech, and NC State. The Orange will look to continue that streak against an Arkansas team that looks to make noise in the SEC this season. Arkansas is led by B.J. Young, who is one of the better scorers in the SEC and leads the Razorbacks with 20.5 points in just 26.5 minutes per game so far this year. The Razorbacks put points on the board, averaging 82 per game, but are not an efficient scoring team. They shoot 43.7% from the field and just 27.8% from three-point range, which is not a good sign for a team preparing to go up against a Syracuse zone that they are not familiar with. Arkansas is a good home team, and Bud Walton Arena will be sold out, so the game should prove to be a significant road test for the Orange. If they can contain Young, and Michael Carter-Williams and James Southerland continue their tremendous play, the Orange should be able to escape with a win.
#20 Georgetown vs. Tennessee