Michigan-Syracuse Prediction

Posted: 04/06/2013 by levcohen in NCAA

Well, one ticket to Monday night was just punched, as Louisville won a never in doubt 72-68 game (yes, that was sarcasm). Next up is Michigan-Syracuse, which was supposed to be the better of the two games. For that to happen, this is going to have to be a game for the ages, because the Cardinal-Shocker game was just about that. This does have the potential to be a terrific game. Syracuse will bring their vaunted 2-3 zone, and no matter how much tape Michigan has watched of Syracuse, they won’t be completely ready for the zone. You can say the same about Syracuse and Trey Burke. That is probably the key matchup of this game. Will the 6”0 Burke be able to penetrate against the defense of the longer Brandon Triche (6”4) and Michael Carter-Williams (6”6)? Also: Can Michigan stay hot and hit their three point shots? Most zones are vulnerable against the three, but Syracuse has been remarkably good at closing out on threes. Syracuse does have trouble scoring when they can’t get in transition. They are best in low scoring games, and have held each of their four opponents to 60 points or fewer, and two to fewer than 40 points. Michigan can’t turn the ball over, and they have to be able to penetrate the zone. They also have to hit their threes. They have been able to do those things in this tournament, but it might be too much to ask for them to do it again. Still, I’ll pick the Wolverines (against my gut) because I think that even if they do just two of the things I mentioned above, they should have a good chance to win, unless the scores end in the 50’s.

Prediction: Michigan- 64, Syracuse-61
Michigan covers the 1.5 point spread

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