College Basketball Preview and Free Pick: Syracuse vs. Duke
Zion Williamson is expected to return tonight as the Duke Blue Devils take on the Syracuse Orange
in ACC quarterfinal action. The Orange have a question mark of their own as the status of star Tyus
Battle is unclear after he sat out the team’s last game with a hip injury. The game gets underway at 9
PM EST from the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, NC.
Date/Time/TV: Thur. March 14, 9:00 PM EST, ESPN
Spread: Duke Blue Devils -11 (-110)
Despite the absence of Battle, Syracuse was able to handle business against Pittsburgh yesterday to
the tune of 73-59. The Orange entered the game as 5.5-point favorites. For the year, the club is 20-12
(18-14 ATS) with a record of 10-8 in conference play.
The Blue Devils have been without Williamson for the last five games. That translated into a record
of 3-2 over the team’s final five games of the regular season. Duke closed out the year with a mark of
14-4 in the ACC, which left them two games behind conference leaders Virginia and North Carolina.
The end of the regular season was painful for Syracuse as the team dropped four of its last five.
Three of those losses came to ACC teams ranked in the Top 5 nationally. Over the last 10, the
Orange are 4-6 (5-5 ATS).
Totals have been Over for three of the last five, but they lean towards the Under on the season at 13-
19. Battle is the team’s top option on offense 17.2 ppg. Buddy Boeheim stepped in and dropped 20
points in his absence yesterday. Oshae Brissett contributes 12.3 ppg and 7.5 boards.
Duke Blue Devils
The absence of Williamson has been the catalyst behind Duke dropping to #5 in the latest AP Top 25
poll. The team has an overall record of 26-5 (17-14 ATS), but they are 7-3 (4-6 ATS) over their last
10 games. Two of those losses came at the hands of North Carolina.
Team totals have been Under for the last three in a row and skew heavily that way for the year at 8-
21-2. RJ Barrett leads the way in scoring with 23.4 ppg. Williamson is next up with averages of 21.6
ppg and 8.8 boards. Cam Reddish chips in with 14.3 ppg.
Syracuse vs. Duke Prediction
These two programs hooked up twice in the regular season with the road team winning both times.
Duke was favored in both matchups, covering in the victory. Duke has a 6-4 advantage for the last 10
meetings. Totals are 5-5 over that span.
The spread stands at Duke -11. While the Blue Devils can certainly get the job done and win, they
may need a game with Williamson back in the fold to get back to full strength. We’ll take the Orange
plus the points.
Syracuse Orange vs. Duke Blue Devils Pick: Syracuse Orange +11 (-110)