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Syracuse - Dayton NCAA Tournament Round 1 Preview

 Syracuse students agree: Revenge on Dayton would be sweet.
Two years ago, Syracuse entered the NCAA Tournament ready to play a plucky little school named Dayton. Dayton emerged the victor by 2 points. That was the last game Syracuse played in the NCAA Tournament. It's a new year now however, and Syracuse is looking to advance to play on Sunday. Syracuse will need to do a few things better than they have in their final five games. Syracuse needs to rebound the ball well. Syracuse is 14-2 when they outrebound their opponent. Syracuse has had a tough go in the rebounding department lately, however Dayton is a little undersized compared to Syracuse. I look for Roberson to get back to his rebounding ways, and Tyler Lydon to also find success on the boards. Syracuse will also need to attack the basket. Dayton plays a very aggressive man to man defense. That means that if Syracuse attacks the rim, they should be rewarded with trips to the free throw line and get Dayton in some foul trouble. Finally, Syracuse needs to score and score and score. Dayton is 9-0 when holding opponents to under 60 points. Syracuse will need Michael Gbinije to continue to be the star that he is, Lydon will have to get some points off the bench, and then any combination of Trevor Cooney, Malachi Richardson, and Roberson will need to score. Early on, I'm sure Dayton will either double Gbinije or play him very tight. Which means Syracuse will need to look for the open man, especially if they are near the basket. The X Factors will be if Franklin Howard can help facilitate some offense, or Roberson can put some points on the board with offensive rebounds and easy buckets. This game is probably pretty close to a pick 'em in the brackets. But I'm going to stick with my gut and pick Syracuse by 5. This game is available nationwide on the flagship network of the NCAA Tournament, CBS. Coverage starts at 12:00pm, with tip time approximately 12:15 eastern. Both John and I will be in the home offices, and we'll be chatting at our usual locations. See you out there and Go Orange!

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