Louisville Cardinals vs. Syracuse Orange
Two teams with Big East teams with big tournament aspirations for March Madness meet on Big Monday as the Louisville Cardinals host the Syracuse Orange. The Orange are -2 point favorites over the Cardinals with an over/under point total set at 137.
The Louisville Cardinals have won six games in a row and Rick Pitino’s team is climbing the standings in the Big East. UL is 8-4 in the Big East this season, 15-2 at home this year, tied for fifth place in the conference standings, and 0-3 against teams ranked in the top 25. Kyle Kuric is averaging 13.2 points and 4.8 rebounds, Russ Smith is averaging 12.2 points, Chris Smith is averaging 10.5 points, and Gorgui Dieng is averaging 10.1 points and 9.2 rebounds. As a team Louisville is averaging 71.8 points and they are shooting 43.8 percent and defensively they are allowing 62.3 points and their opponents are shooting 37.2 percent. The bulk of the wins on Louisville’s streak have been against teams in the lower half of the conference standings and this will be a huge step up for them.
The Syracuse Orange have been one of the better teams in the nation from the start of the season and while Jim Boeheim has had some great teams over the years this one can go toe to toe with any of them. Syracuse is 12-1 in the Big East, 6-1 on the road, 3-0 against teams ranked in the top 25, and they have a two game lead in the conference standings. Kris Joseph is averaging 14.3 points and 4.8 rebounds, Dion Waiters is averaging 12.4 points, Brandon Triche is averaging 9.7 points, and Scoop Jardine is averaging 8.7 points and 4.9 assists. As a team Syracuse is averaging 77.8 points 16.7 assists, and they are shooting 48.1 percent and defensively they are allowing 61 points and their opponents are shooting 38.5 percent. Syracuse is looking at a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament and they control their own destiny as far as that goes.
Louisville is 6-0 against the spread in their last six Big East games, 6-1 against the spread as an underdog, and 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games as a home underdog. Syracuse is 20-7 against the spread in their last 27 road games, 1-4 against the spread in their last five games following a cover, and 34-16-1 against the spread in their last 51 games as a road favorite. Syracuse is 0-6-1 against the spread in the last seven meetings of these two.
The total looks to be set about right but when both of these teams play against stronger defenses the pace is usually more deliberate which produces lower scores which is going to be the case here. Of course both of these teams can shoot so play here on the under.