Pts. Diff. (H/A)
Avg. Line (H/A)
|Syracuse||67||140.5||15||11||14||14-1 / 4-8||8-7 / 5-7||3-12 / 10-2||+11.2 / -2.8||-9 / +3|
|Houston U||65||-6.5||5||-10||4||18||17-1 / 5-3||14-4 / 5-3||8-10 / 4-4||+22.3 / +8.1||-14 / -10|
|Ho-hum, another March, and another surprising appearance by Syracuse in the Sweet 16. We last saw this in 2018 when the most-recent 11th-seeded Jim Boeheim bunch caught fire in the sub-regionals after winning in the First Four and reached the second weekend before giving Duke quite a scare. The difference between now and three years ago is that we’re not sure this Orange run is going to stop on Saturday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse. As usual, Boeheim’s pet 2-3 zone defense is causing issues for the opposition, with both San Diego State and West Virginia held to 37% or worse from the floor and ending up relying on 3-balls that connected on only 22 of 66 attempts. In the Sweet 16, we’re not sure Houston will fare much better vs. the zone, simply because the Cougars lack the sort of post presence necessary to properly attack the zone and institute the effective inside-out action so important to keep the ‘Cuse off balance on the stop end. Leaning on ex-Kansas transfer Q Quentin Grimes (20 ppg in Dance), UH was able to advance thru the first weekend, though not without great difficulty on Sunday vs. Rutgers, when the Cougs sputtered in their halfcourt offense much of the evening. Playing thru a painful hip injury, G DeJon Jarreau would have made namesake Al proud by adding a gritty 17 points as UH finally collared the Scarlet Knights in the last minute. But Kelvin Sampson’s bunch has not been having an easy time vs. more-capable opposition lately (avg. win margin vs. three KenPom-Top 50 foes in March just 2.6 pg), and the ‘Cuse is capable of a mild upset if Buddy Boeheim (who might have an NBA future…really!) keeps hitting his triples and scoring at the 27.5 ppg pace as last weekend.|
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Last 5 Games
|75-66||+9.4||12||11||+2||2-0 / 2-1||2-0 / 3-0||1-1 / 2-1|
|83-55||+28.4||5||20||-16||5-0 / 0-0||4-1 / 0-0||3-2 / 0-0|
|03-21-21||@ West Virginia||+4||148.5||75-72|
|03-19-21||@ San Diego State||+3||138||78-62||03-19-21||Cleveland State||-20.5||134.5||87-56|
The NCAA Tournament is one of the most-bet events on the sports calendar. That influx of public money can create some interesting opportunities to “fade the public” during March Madness. WagerTalk handicapper Steve Merril offers his thoughts on a handful of Sweet 16 matchups where the money and ticket count are flowing to one side.
#NCAATournament | #MarchMadness | #CollegeBasketball
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