Syracuse vs. VCU prediction: Orange will bounce back

Both Syracuse and VCU enter Wednesday’s matchup in the Battle 4 Atlantis coming off of tough losses, with the Orange looking to do better on defense and Rams trying to amp up their offense.

VCU has scored 57 points or fewer in all four of its games this season, and in their last two home games have lost to Chattanooga and Wagner.

Meanwhile, the Syracuse zone defense was carved up for 100 points in the most recent loss against Colgate. Opponents are shooting 36 from 3-point range against it, ranking the Orange 261st in the nation.

The best way to defeat a zone is typically by making 3-pointers, and VCU ranks 309th in 3-point shooting, making just 26.3 percent of its outside shots.

Syracuse’s Buddy Boeheim, left, and Joseph Girard III celebrate after a 3-pointer against Lafayette.
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Despite the defensive struggles, Syracuse rates 13th in the country in points scored on a per-possession basis. VCU ranks 342nd out of 358 Division I teams in this category. That’s why the Orange — led by Buddy Boeheim (20 ppg) and Joseph Girard III (19.3 ppg) — will be the team that bounces back on Wednesday.

The play: Syracuse, -5.5.