College Basketball Preview and Free Pick: Pittsburgh vs. Syracuse
Round two of the ACC tournament takes place today at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, NC. For
the nightcap, the Pittsburgh Panthers will take on the Syracuse Orange. The Panthers handled
business against Boston College in round one, while the Orange have been enjoying some time off
since Saturday’s road loss to Clemson.
Date/Time/TV: Weds. March 13, 9:00 PM EST, ESPN2
Spread: Syracuse Orange -7 (-110)
It was a pick’em at tip-off for yesterday’s game with Boston College, but Pittsburgh got the job done
by a final score of 80-70. The team closed out the regular season on a high note as well with a 56-53
home victory over Notre Dame. For the season, the Panthers are 14-18 (15-15-2 ATS) and a dreadful
3-15 in ACC play.
The Orange were much better versus conference rivals at 10-8, highlighted by a 4-point road OT
victory over Duke back in January. For the year, Syracuse is 19-12 (17-14 ATS). The team struggled
to close out the regular season by dropping four of its last five. Three of those losses came to Top 5
teams in Duke, North Carolina, and Virginia.
The victory over the Fighting Irish in the regular season finale snapped a painful 13-game losing
streak for the Panthers. The team is just 2-8 (2-7-1 ATS) over its last 10 outings. They faced off with
Syracuse twice during the regular season, dropping them both.
Totals have been Over for two of the last three and check in at 15-17 on the season. Xavier Johnson
is the top option for Pittsburgh. He’s averaging 15.9 ppg and 4.5 apg. Jared Wilson-Frame adds in
12.3 ppg, while Trey McGowens contributes 11.9 ppg.
The Orange were pretty strong in the first-half of ACC play, but they tailed off from that point. Over
the last 10, Syracuse is 4-6 (5-5 ATS). The team had a really tough time versus ranked conference
rivals while going 2-5 and losing its last three versus those squads.
Totals have been Under for three of the last four and lean that way on the season at 12-19. Tyus
Battle leads the way on offense for the Orange. He’s averaging 17.2 ppg, 3.3 boards, and 2.5 apg.
Elijah Hughes contributes 13.4 ppg, while Oshae Brissett is chipping in with 12.6 ppg and 7.5 rpg.
Pittsburgh vs. Syracuse Prediction
Syracuse was favored in both of the regular season matchups with Pittsburgh. They covered and won
them both. For the last 10 meetings, these two programs are deadlocked at 5-5. Totals are 3-7 over
The Orange are 7-point favorites for tonight’s game, and they’re clearly the better team on paper. We
like the Orange to take care of business and advance to the next round of the ACC tourney.
Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Syracuse Orange Pick: Syracuse Orange -7 (-110)