Scouting Syracuse-Virginia

Keys to victory in Saturday night's showdown between ACC title contenders

Updated: February 28, 2014, 1:47 PM ET
By Fran Fraschilla and Seth Greenberg | ESPN Insider

Jim Boeheim, Tony BennettGetty ImagesSyracuse's Jim Boeheim and Virginia's Tony Bennett face off in a game that could decide the ACC title.

With Saturday's highly anticipated matchup between the Syracuse Orange (26-2, 13-2 ACC) and Virginia Cavaliers (24-5, 15-1 ACC) fast approaching (4 p.m. ET, ESPN), we asked former coaches Fran Fraschilla and Seth Greenberg to break it all down. Each provided a scouting report on the biggest keys for both sides of the ball, with Fraschilla taking the role of Cavaliers coach Tony Bennett and Greenberg the role of the Orange's Jim Boeheim.


How Syracuse can beat Virginia (by Seth Greenberg)

1. Orange must defend the entire possession

Joe Harris
Geoff Burke/USA TODAY SportsSenior guard Joe Harris is averaging 11.5 points per game this season.

Virginia is a patient offensive team that will probe the zone and pass up a good shot to get a better shot. It will not be uncommon in the half court for the Cavaliers to use 30 seconds of the shot clock, waiting for the defense to break down. Syracuse will need to remain disciplined in the zone and understand that the Cavaliers won't have a set pattern.

They'll attack it by principles. On any given possession, the guards and forwards will both be ball-screened and flair-screened. There will be multiple cutters in the middle of the zone and a shooter moving along the baseline behind the defense hoping to get an uncontested shot.

Fran Fraschilla is a college basketball analyst for ESPN. He formerly was the head coach at Manhattan, St. John's and New Mexico.