Syracuse students agree: A lot of us drove down not to see a loss.
Well this is a very big game indeed. The biggest basketball game for Syracuse in ten years. There have been a few hundred games since we witnessed Syracuse and Carmelo Anthony take on Texas and come away victorious. Since then, no dunk has equaled the Texas T-bag. And now Syracuse has the chance to make a few more legendary moments. They will have to do that against the Wolverines of Michigan. Michigan boasts one of the best players in the game right now in Trey Burke (18.8ppg) who was the hero for Michigan to send their game against Kansas to overtime, which they ended up winning. Syracuse, meanwhile, has gotten contributions from all the players on their roster to survive and advance. Some nights it was Brandon Triche, then Michael Carter-Williams, or James Southerland, or CJ Fair. What we do know for sure is that Michigan has a very good offense, and Syracuse has a very good defense. And then are going to collide. And one will give a little more than the other. Strangely, this scouting report will look familiar. I'm going to be saying a lot of the same things I said against Indiana. Syracuse is a longer, more athletic team that will surely bother Michigan, like Indiana. Both play in the Big Ten and don't see teams play this type of zone and definitely not for the whole game. Syracuse's guards at the top of the zone are bigger than their Michigan counterparts, like they were bigger than Indiana's guards. Michigan also has a tall, white guy that plays in the post like Indiana. Michigan is a team that does not turn the ball over much. If Syracuse manages to create some turnovers and get some easy buckets at the other end, Michigan will have to work so much harder to stay in the game than just running offense against the SU defense. While Michigan has really shot well in the tournament, when betting on an offensive versus defensive matchup, you should always go with defense. Defense wins Championships. You can't bet on college kids continuing to shoot lights out. Also, Coach Beilein couldn't beat Jim Boeheim when he coached at West Virginia. Why should he think he can do it now? I think this game will be tighter than the Indiana game, but I do like Syracuse in this matchup. I'm taking the Orange by nine. This game will be on at approximately 8:48pm ET on CBS after the conclusion of Wichita State versus Louisville. John is down in Atlanta. I'll be joining him Sunday win or lose. So stay tuned here and on Twitter for everything Final Four related. And also enjoy a tasty appetizer of Syracuse Lacrosse at Princeton on ESPN U before the game at 5:00pm.