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Syracuse students agree: Winning one is great. Winning two is better.
The Orange handled their business in a tight one in Dayton against Arizona State in the First Four. While it was a rock fight, Syracuse got down seven points, which seemed like an insurmountable lead the way Syracuse was playing offense. But Syracuse got some stops, and a huge clutch shot from Battle, got the game close. And Chukwu, surprisingly, sealed the game with a few clutch free throws down the stretch to keep the Orange up just enough to win. As they say, survive and advance. And Syracuse did that. Now they head to Detroit to take on TCU. And we see a familiar face on the opposing bench in Jamie Dixon, who was the head man at Pittsburgh for a number of years of course. But this isn't Pittsburgh. TCU earned the 6 seed after finishing 21-11 (9-9 in the Big XII). While TCU is a good rebounding team, they are not the defensive power that some of Dixon's Pittsburgh teams were. And while TCU on average is a little taller than the other teams Syracuse faced in the ACC, Syracuse is still taller and therefore the rebounding could be even. The real threat is on the offensive glass, where TCU ranks 21st. Syracuse really needs to keep the rebounding close obviously and BOX OUT when they can. TCU is also allowing 37.9% from beyond the arc. If Syracuse can get hot, that will definitely open up the game for Syracuse on the offensive end, which as you know is not great for Syracuse. And with TCU being ranked 106th in defensive efficiency in the nation can only help the Orange. TCU has a good offensve, like ASU. If Syracuse can play well on defense, and do just enough on offense, you know... like every game, they should win. But again, the key is to play lockdown defense, get easy scores when they can, and prevent as many second chance points for TCU as possible. While Dixon knows how to beat the Zone, Syracuse is playing their best defense in several years, and they are the taller team. I think Syracuse will keep the rebounding close enough, and will be able to score on the weak defense of TCU to win the game, as I picked in my bracket on Tuesday. I'm taking the Orange by 6. This game is available at approximately 9:40pm on Friday night on CBS, or on the March Madness On Demand app. John will be in the home office. I'll most likely be out and about, enjoying the game with a couple friends so I'll be bitching about the officiating sparingly. Either way, it should be a fun one, as the Orange have overachieved on the year for what they are playing with. I'm good with it. But a win would be so sweet. Especially if Michigan State is upset again. GO ORANGE and again, sorry America.

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