Syracuse students agree: Before Wednesday this would have been a troubling game.
Syracuse is still undefeated. After handling two road games in the league, Syracuse is back in the Dome for a matchup against the team that defeated them in the NCAA Tournament the year before. Revenge has been easy to obtain in the Dome this season, so will that also be the case today?
Marquette comes in fresh off a major collapse on the road against Georgetown. Up 17 points in the second half, Georgetown was able to come back and win by three in the Verizon Center. Before that, they had a four point win against Villanova at home. Villanova just lost to USF the other night. Before that Marquette lost to Vanderbilt at home 74 to 57. Offensively, Marquette is not as good as we once though. Frankly, despite having a trio if pretty good three point shooters, I'm not sure how Marquette is going to penetrate the SU 2-3 Zone. Fab Melo is assuredly much better defensively last season. Darius Johnson-Odom hits the outside shot 39.2%. He can keep Marquette in a game. Todd Mayo really impressed me in the first half against Georgetown off the bench as well. And obviously Jae Crowder is a dynamic player that can shoot and dribble penetrate. He can also rebound pretty well. This is a short team though. They only have one player above 6'7''. They will have trouble against Fab Melo in rebounding and getting into the paint. The biggest question is if Baye Moussa Kieta is still unable to play due to a sore hip. If he cannot come in to replace Melo when/if he gets into foul trouble, Syracuse will have to simply go with a smaller lineup like we saw in good chucks of the Providence game. While Marquette will hit some outside shots, they will have trouble setting up any other shots for their offense. If Syracuse limits their transition game, something they also excel at like Syracuse, this game will not be close. I do think they hang around until about midway through the second half however. But Syracuse will hold on to win again in a nice conference match. Syracuse is your winner by 13.
This game is again sadly on ESPN's regional coverage. Tune in on TWCS, SNY, or ESPN 3 at 4:00pm EST. I'm not in the Dome today, but John is so look for updates from him. He'll be back with the recap sometime soon. Hopefully it's still more happy news.