Friday March 19: (11) Syracuse (16-9) vs. (6) San Diego State (23-4)
Syracuse has played better basketball down the stretch, but still ended up 8th in the ACC standings. The Orangemen came close to beating Virginia last Thursday, however lost on a last-second three-point shot. Buddy Boeheim scored a career-high 31 points in that one. Boeheim, (the son of coach Jim Boeheim) is the leading scorer for Syracuse, averaging 17 ppg. Syracuse was strong at home going 13-1 this season, but are just 2-7 in their last 9 games away from the Carrier Dome.
Many bettors might shy away from supporting San Diego State, possibly because teams from the Mountain West Conference have not fared well in Tournament play. The MWC teams are just 22-49 in all appearances in the NCAA Tournament, for a win pct. of only 31%. However, San Diego State has an offensive punch, as well as a steady defense as the Aztecs are 7th in the nation in points allowed (61.3 ppg). San Diego State, winners of 14 games in a row, have two 3-point shooters that are hitting at 40% or better: Jordan Schakel and Terrell Gomez. It’s likely because of this winning streak and offensive/defensive balance that San Diego State is the favorite here. Syracuse did once eliminate San Diego State in the 2007 tournament, 80-63.
On the rebound: Today’s March Madness Previews
- Sports betting explodes, increasing 80% in New Jersey ahead of March Madness
- March Madness: Abilene Christian vs. Texas
- March Madness: Grand Canyon vs. Iowa Preview
- March Madness: Iona vs. Alabama Preview
- March Madness: UC-Santa Barbara vs. Creighton Preview
- March Madness: UNC Greenboro vs. Florida State Preview
- March Madness: Syracuse vs. San Diego State Preview