Teams: Syracuse Orange (14-12, 8-7) vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (11-15, 4-11)
Day and time: Monday, February 21, 7 p.m. ET
Location: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY
Line: Syracuse is a heavy favorite, getting -9.5 from DraftKings (Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sport bets for more details).
Georgia Tech Blog: From the Rumble Seat
Rivalry: 7-7 tied
Current series: 1. Georgia Tech
First meeting: The second round of the 1985 NCAA Tournament featured the first-ever matchup between Syracuse and Georgia Tech. Future NBA All-Star Mark Price led the Yellow Jackets and all scorers with 18 points. Rafael Addison scored 17 points to lead the Orange, with Pearl Washington having a draw, scoring just seven points.
Last meeting: Syracuse led by five at halftime, but Georgia Tech’s offense exploded into action in the second half. The Yellow Jackets shot 63.3% from the floor in the second half and scored 50 points after halftime to win 84-77. As expected, Moses Wright dominated the Orange, scoring 31 points and grabbing 16 rebounds.
Head Coaches: Syracuse – Jim Boeheim (46th year, 1097-420) | Georgia Tech – Josh Pastner (sixth season, 94-91)
Coach Biography: Pastner played his college basketball as an extra at Arizona. His coaching career began with the Wildcats as an assistant in 2002. He moved to Memphis in 2008 to become an assistant coach and scouting coordinator under John Calipari. Pastner would take over as head coach of Memphis after Calipari left for Kentucky. The Tigers would have five 20-plus seasons in seven years under Pastner, including three NCAA tournament appearances.
Pastner would be hired as the head coach of Georgia Tech after the 2015-16 season. He won 21 games in his first season with the Yellow Jackets and finished second in the SLOW for TOS. However, Georgia Tech would not replicate Pastner’s first-season success, finishing below 20 wins every year before last season when the Yellow Jackets turned the tables.
Last year: Georgia Tech floated a few games above .500 before tearing up to end the season. The Yellow Jackets have won their last six regular season games to earn the fourth seed in the ACC Tournament. Georgia Tech defeated Miami in its first-round quarterfinal game before automatically advancing to the championship game due to a positive COVID-19 test in Virginia’s program. The yellow vests beat state of florida win the ACC Championship. Georgia Tech was seeded nine times in the NCAA Tournament but was no match for an underseeded Loyola-Chicago team. The Yellow Jackets did not have Moses Wright for this game.
Last match: A +5 turnover margin and 46.4% field goal percentage gave Georgia Tech everything it needed to beat Pitt 68-62 at the Petersen Events Center. The Yellow Jackets held the Panthers 41.2 percent from the floor.
“Fear Me, I’ve Slain Hundreds of Time Lords”: With Moses Wright and Jose Alvarado graduating last year, Michael DeVoe took over as Georgia Tech’s alpha on the team. He leads the way with 18.7 points per game.
If Syracuse wins: Three games above .500? What is this place?
If Syracuse loses: Spiraling to a losing record? What is this place?
Fun fact: Joe Girard is shooting 91.8% from the free throw line. Syracuse’s single-season record belongs to Gerry McNamara, who shot 90.9%.