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Syracuse basketball Tennessee Maui Invitational 5 Key Things Know

Syracuse and Tennessee face off in the 2023 Maui Invitational with both teams at 3-0, and Tennessee ranked No. 7.

The 2023 Maui Invitational will kick off with a matchup between the Syracuse Orange and the Tennessee Vols. Both teams are entering the tournament with a 3-0 record for the season. Tennessee has a higher profile, ranked No. 7 in the country and coming off a Sweet 16 appearance in last year's NCAA Tournament. Their coach, Rick Barnes, has an impressive 782 career coaching wins. On the other hand, Syracuse has missed the NCAA Tournament for the past two years and their coach, Adrian Autry, is in his first year as head coach.

The two schools have a limited basketball history, with their last meeting resulting in a 66-62 win for the Vols in 2002. However, their most memorable game dates back to the 1977 NCAA Tournament. Syracuse, led by Jim Boeheim, secured a 93-88 overtime victory against Tennessee. This year's Maui Invitational has been relocated to Oahu due to wildfires that destroyed much of Lahaina, Maui.

The upcoming game between Syracuse and Tennessee is scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. Eastern and will be televised on ESPN2. Here are 5 key things to know about the matchup:

1. Syracuse's Judah Mintz has been excelling at getting to the free-throw line, averaging 9.3 points per game from free throws.
2. Tennessee's Zakai Zeigler is a key player for the Vols, returning after an ACL injury last season.
3. Syracuse's defense has been forcing an average of 15.6 turnovers per game from opponents.
4. Tennessee's Dalton Knecht, a grad transfer, is leading the Vols in scoring with 19.7 points per game.
5. Syracuse has been struggling with 3-point shooting, making only 29.2% of their attempts, while Tennessee excels in 3-point percentage defense.

The game promises to be an exciting matchup between two strong teams. It will be interesting to see how Syracuse and Tennessee's contrasting strengths and weaknesses play out on the court.

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