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Syracuse students agree: Winning this game would be sweet.
Syracuse did their job. They beat Dayton in a pretty impressive 2nd half showing. However, the team everyone thought Syracuse would play, Michigan State, was undone by a stellar performance by Middle Tennessee State shooting the basketball and crashing a lot of brackets. Now, with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line, Syracuse needs to take out the team that took one one of the favorites to advance a long way in this tournament. The Blue Raiders hit 11 three pointers against Michigan State. However, this actually plays into Syracuse's favor. While MTSU is the 14th best 3 point shooting team in the nation, surprisingly Syracuse is the 9th best in the country at 3 point defense. You have to think MTSU can't replicate their astounding almost 60% shooting feat they had on Friday. But it is imperative that Syracuse finds MTSU's Giddy Potts, who's made 50.3% of his 3 point attempts. And some from very deep. Harassing him will be a key to Syracuse's effectiveness on defense. Syracuse demolished Dayton on the boards on Friday. SU should have a chance to do that in this game as well, as the leading rebounder for MTSU is 6'7". Syracuse should have plenty of rebounds if they put in the effort. I think Syracuse will also be able to force some turnovers as, despite MTSU playing a bit of zone defense of their own, can't possibly replicate the effectiveness of the Syracuse Zone in their practices. Syracuse should be able to turn the ball over and get points off those turnovers. Look for Gbinije to get going for Syracuse, and also Tyler Lydon and Tyler Roberson to get some solid offensive rebounds and put backs. Syracuse had a pretty balanced scoring attack outside of the clear MVP Malachi Richardson on Friday. I think Syracuse will do the same in this game. A balanced scoring day from the folks on the floor, with Gbinije being the star as he should be able to drive and get good looks at the basket. If not, Syracuse will look to kick for open shots. If Syracuse is forcing turnovers and making most of their shots, the rebounds will carry SU the rest of the way. I like Syracuse to advance and become the 6th ACC team in the Sweet 16, which would be a record for one conference. I'll take the Orange by 11. This game will be available on TNT with the game tipping at around 6:10pm. John and I will be in the home office. For the unexpected chance of Syracuse heading to the Sweet 16, let's GO ORANGE!

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