The Syracuse Orange and Notre Dame Fighting Irish tip off their ACC Conference schedules on Saturday in West Bend Indiana with the key to the game being the 3-point arc.
Syracuse Orange vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-6, 133.5)
Syracuse basketball has used the zone defense for decades under coach Jim Boeheim and the zone defense usually leaves players open along the perimeter.
The 2022-23 season has illustrated some of the negatives of the zone defense with Syracuses ranked 154th in points allowed on a per possession basis and opponents getting 44.4% of their points from made 3-point shots, which is the fifth-highest percentage in the country.
Notre Dame enters Saturday shooting 36.5% from 3-point range overall and that percentage jumps to 39.6% at home.
Syracuse also lacks overall team rebounding with just two players pulling in more than 3.2 rebounds per game, manifesting to an offensive rebound rate of 31.2% for opponents, a mark that ranks 299th in the country.
The Orange are also unlikely to be the beneficiaries of too many wasted possessions with Notre Dame seventh in the country in turnovers per possession, with a turnover on just 13.2% of possessions.
An offense that enters Saturday 196th in points scored on a per possessions basis will not be enough for Syracuse to overcome their defensive woes along the 3-point arc, leading to a comfortable Notre Dame win.
The Play: Notre Dame -6