Syracuse Orange vs. Wisconsin Badgers
The Syracuse Orange and the Wisconsin Badgers battle it out on Thursday with a spot in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament going to the winner. The Orange are -3.5 point favorites over the Badgers with an over/under point total set at 121.5.
The Syracuse Orange won the Big East going away this season but when Fab Melo was declared ineligible for March Madness many jumped off of Jim Boeheim’s teams’ bandwagon. Syracuse struggled a little in their first round game against UNC-Ashville winning by seven but after a competitive first half with Kansas State the Orange dominated the second half and won by 16 to earn this spot. Syracuse is 5-1 in games played on a neutral court, 5-0 against teams ranked in the top 25, and over the course of the season they played the 29th ranked schedule in the nation. Against Kansas State Dion Waiters had 18 points, Scoop Jardine had 16 points, five rebounds, and eight assists, James Southerland had 15 points and six rebounds, and Kris Joseph had 11 points. As a team SU shot 51.1 percent from the floor, they hit 66.7 percent of their shots from beyond the three point arc, and 79.3 percent from the free throw line. While the loss of Melo obviously hurts Syracuse has showed no signs of vulnerability yet.
The Wisconsin Badgers are one of four Big Ten teams to make the Sweet 16 and Bo Ryan’s team looks to take it another step closer to the Final Four. Wisconsin dominated Montana in the first round of the tournament winning by 24 and then won a nail biter against Vandy by three in one of the better games of the Tournament thus far. Wisconsin is 5-1 in neutral site games, 5-7 against teams ranked in the top 25, and they played the 14th ranked schedule in the nation. Against Vanderbilt Jordan Taylor had 14 points, Jared Berggren had 12 points and six rebounds, Ryan Evans had 11 points five rebounds, and four assists, and Ben Brust had 11 points. As a team the Badgers shot 41.8 percent, 30.3 percent from beyond the three point line, and they got to the line just eight times making four of the shots. For Wisconsin it is all about tempo and pace and if they can get teams into their game they can beat anyone.
Syracuse is 11-5 against the spread in their last 16 non-conference games, 2-7 against the spread in their last nine games overall, and 1-4 against the spread in their last five neutral site games. Wisconsin is 5-1 against the spread in their last six neutral site games, 4-1 against the spread in their last five games overall, and 16-5 against the spread in their last 21 non-conference games.
This one should be a war but with the total moving up to 121.5 after opening at 119 I still like the over.