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Syracuse students agree: Syracuse has done well, but winning today would be amazing.
Syracuse has exceeded most people's expectations of winning their play in game, and then beating TCU. Both John Brennan and I called this correctly of course. But now we both have them playing Michigan State and both of us have Syracuse's road ending in Detroit. Now you and I both know that big upsets happen in this Tournament. Just Friday night, while Syracuse was beating TCU, Virginia was taking it on the chin from 16 seed UMBC. Either way, Syracuse has a tall task if they want an upset because Michigan State on paper looks like a really good basketball team. Michigan State is deep, they have a very big low post presence (like UNC), and they rebound very well. If Syracuse is unable to rebound, they get into foul trouble, or turn the ball over and just can't score, this is going to be a 20 point loss. While I anticipate Frank Howard bouncing out of his shooting slump (4-18 from 3 in his last three games [that's bad for even being sick]), unless Syracuse makes like 15 three point buckets, they probably won't outscore a very good Michigan State team. And that's not to say Syracuse's defense won't hold Michigan State to 10 to 20 points below their season average, because they probably will. It's just that Syracuse won't be able to score enough to out pace Sparty. Syracuse will put up a fight, and maybe even have the game tied with around 8 minutes to go. But it will be a heavily pro-State crowd in Detroit, and I just don't think when the rubber meets the road here, that Syracuse can outlast Sparty. It will either be foul trouble, or Michigan State not being able to be stopped inside, or too many turnovers. Syracuse has to play a perfect game to win, and I just don't think we've seen them do it once against any team that has outranked them so much this season. It's been a great run, and a great season. Jim Boeheim got a shorthanded staff of kids to the NCAA Tournament and they won a couple games. They played better than most thought, and they overachieved on the year. I'm happy, and I'm looking forward to next year. But as for this year, pending a March Miracle, I'm taking Sparty by 13. This game will be broadcast on CBS / March Madness On Demand at approximately 2:40pm. Both John and I will be watching and we hope you enjoy the dancing while you can. It's been a fun ride with a lot of ups and downs. But, as always, GO ORANGE!

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