Syracuse looks to knock off No. 18 Virginia
Syracuse (8-7, 1-3) vs. No. 18 Virginia (11-3, 3-1)
John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, Virginia; Saturday, 4 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: No. 18 Virginia looks to give Syracuse its fifth straight loss against ranked opponents. Syracuse’s last win vs a ranked opponent came against the then-No. 18 Louisville Cardinals 69-49 on Feb. 20, 2019. Virginia lost 60-53 on the road against Boston College in its most recent game.
SUPER SENIORS: Virginia’s Mamadi Diakite, Braxton Key and Jay Huff have combined to score 53 percent of the team’s points this season and have accounted for 51 percent of all Cavaliers scoring over the last five games.
ACC ADVANCEMENT: The Cavaliers have allowed just 45 points per game to conference opponents so far. That’s an improvement from the 48.7 per game they allowed in non-conference play.
KEY FACILITATOR: Kihei Clark has either made or assisted on 50 percent of all Virginia field goals over the last five games. The sophomore guard has accounted for 18 field goals and 35 assists in those games.
DEFENSIVE DISRUPTION: Syracuse is 7-0 when it holds opponents to 40 percent or worse from the field, and 1-7 whenever opponents shoot better than that. Virginia is 11-0 when it allows 40.5 percent or less from the field and 0-3 whenever opponents exceed that mark.
ASSIST RATIOS: The Cavs have recently used assists to create baskets more often than the Orange. Virginia has an assist on 42 of 67 field goals (62.7 percent) over its past three outings while Syracuse has assists on 41 of 78 field goals (52.6 percent) during its past three games.
STIFLING DEFENSE: Virginia has held opposing teams to 47.6 points per game this year, the lowest figure among all Division I teams.