Beat writers predict Syracuse-UConn national championship game

first_imgFourth-seeded Syracuse (30-7, 13-3 Atlantic Coast) advanced to the national championship game after an 80-59 win over No. 7 seed Washington on Sunday night. Up next is Connecticut (37-0, 18-0 American Athletic) with a national title on the line.Here is how our beat writers think the game will play out.Connor GrossmanConnecticut 83, Syracuse 64Second fiddleSyracuse’s dream season has improbably rolled into the season’s final day. As remarkable of a run the program has had in a postseason it hadn’t won two games in before this year, that won’t be Tuesday night’s biggest storyline. Nothing is going to outshine the luster of three-time defending champion UConn, a team that has lost one game in the last 1,119 days. One. Breanna Stewart, a central New York product, is lined up to sweep a career of four national championships, and possibly four tournament Most Outstanding Player  awards if she performs to her capabilities in the final game of her illustrious career. Syracuse can do its best to set its press and score in transition, and off turnovers. It’s made it further than 348 other Division I teams working off its blueprint. But even that can’t stand between Stewart, head coach Geno Auriemma and Connecticut from another title.Jon MettusAdvertisementThis is placeholder textConnecticut 79, Syracuse 55Close enoughSyracuse has already achieved basically the best end to a season it could have possibly hoped for. This run of 17 games in which the Orange has lost just once was improbably, but continuing it with a win over Connecticut in the national championship would be a miracle. UConn is too good at every position — especially its three-headed monster of Moriah Jefferson, Morgan Tuck and Stewart, which are all considered to be WNBA-level talents. Syracuse is going to be outmatched in nearly every aspect of the game, but so has everyone else that the Huskies have played. Connecticut is going to make history with its fourth national championship in a row. But Syracuse earned the right to be on the court at the same time.Paul SchwedelsonConnecticut 71, Syracuse 58No shameThe magic carpet ride for Syracuse finally comes to an end, but there’s no shame in losing to the undefeated three-time defending national champions. Not a single one of UConn’s games this season has been within single digits and the streak continues on Tuesday night. The Huskies are so dangerous because even without one or two top players, they can still dominate. Three-time NCAA tournament Most Outstanding Player Stewart only scored two first-half points in the semifinal and UConn still led by 21 at halftime. Tuck, Jefferson and Stewart, the North Syracuse native, each end their careers the only way they know how, with a national championship, and they leave college with four title rings. Comments Published on April 4, 2016 at 8:36 am Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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