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#5 Butler - #1 Syracuse NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Preview

Syracuse students agree: No one wants the run to end.

Syracuse entered the Tournament losing two in a row. Then they went out and won two games in dominating fashion. Butler on the other hand has won 22 games in a row. They are a nice team that can put points on the board, but not like Syracuse can. They are a smaller team that is known to have a good zone offense, can shoot over a zone, and can slide into gaps to hit mid-range jump shots. Their star, guard/forward Gordon Hayward (15.2ppg, 8.3rpg) is a great player, however he is only shooting 28.2% from behind the arc and is only 1-10 from three in the Tournament. As a team they only shoot 34.6% from behind the arc. Syracuse, boasting the toughest three point defense in the Big East, will give problems to the shooters of Butler. Additionally, although Butler has found success against zone defenses this season, they have not come up against the toughest 2-3 Zone in the nation. That is indisputable. The real three point threat is Shelvin Mack (14.1ppg, 3.1apg) who is shooting 40% from behind the arc. If Syracuse can contain him, Syracuse should cruise in this game, it is as simple as that. Syracuse's inside game is far tougher, the length of players and sheer athleticism that Syracuse possesses over Butler should rule the day. Look for Syracuse and Butler to be close in the first half, but if Syracuse stays out of true foul trouble, this game should be won in the second. Syracuse over Butler to advance to the Elite 8 by 19. Here's hoping the sock magic continues.

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