Syracuse vs. Pittsburgh Preview

With both teams coming off close losses, Pittsburgh (18-1, 4-1) will make its way to the Carrier Dome Saturday night for a clash with Syracuse (13-2, 3-1).

The Orangemen are looking to bounce back after being upended by Seton Hall on Tuesday, 74-67. Meanwhile, the Panthers lost a tight contest on Monday to UConn, 68-65, for their first loss of the season.

The big story in each of the teams's last games revolved around sophomore guards. Pitt point guard Carl Krauser is coming off a career-high 24 point game against the Huskies. Meanwhile, Syracuse's Gerry McNamara was held to his lowest point total of the season (six) after being hobbled by a groin injury. McNamara was eventually pulled from the game by Coach Jim Boeheim midway through the second half. McNamara is questionable for Saturday night's game.

First-year head coach Jamie Dixon's Panthers have won five of the last six games against Syracuse, with the Orangemen's only win in those six contests coming last season.

However the game plays out tomorrow night, it will be hard to match that performance these two teams displayed last year in the Dome. Down by 12 in the second half, the Orangemen came back and pulled ahead on Jeremy McNeil's two free throws. Then, after the fans rushed the court three separate times and a half-court shot by Pitt was waved off, Syracuse came out victorious, 67-65, in one of the best games of last year's college basketball season.

Second place in the Big East Conference is on the line. The winner of tomorrow's contest will sit behind only Connecticut in the standings.

Pittsburgh (#8/9) will be the first ranked team that Syracuse has gone up against all season. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN2.

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