Elite Eight Odds & Predictions – Syracuse vs. Marquette 3/30/13

Last Updated: March 30th, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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Marquette vs. SyracuseWith all of the talk of just how good the Big Ten was all season long, it is the Big East that is going to be showcased on the road to the Final Four on Saturday, when the #3 Marquette Golden Eagles and the #4 Syracuse Orange do battle in what will likely be the last time we ever see a pair of current Big East teams play against each other. Don’t miss our Marquette vs. Syracuse predictions and keys to the game for what should be an exciting encounter to start the weekend.

March Madness: Syracuse Orange vs. Marquette Golden Eagles
Syracuse vs. Marquette Location: Verizon Center, Washington DC
Syracuse vs. Marquette Date/Time: Saturday, March 30th, 4:30 p.m. (ET)
2013 March Madness On TV: CBS

Key #1: The Orange have to stay out of foul trouble this time around
Syracuse hasn’t had any issues here in the dance whatsoever, but it did lose the first time that it faced Marquette earlier this season. The game in Milwaukee basically ensured that the Golden Eagles would have a shot at a share of the Big East title, while it also proved to be a game that kept the Orange on the wrong side of the equation. In that game, G Brandon Triche ultimately fouled out, while F James Southerland ended with four fouls. The end result saw Marquette take a whopping 35 free throws in comparison to just seven for the Orange. Blind aggression has really been what has led Syracuse here to the Elite Eight, and it is going to be that blind aggression that will lead the team in this one when push comes to shove as well if it is given the opportunity to do so. The Orange don’t have the depth to ultimately be in a lot of foul trouble though, and it is key for them to stay out of it against Marquette.

Elite Eight Odds at WagerWeb Sportsbook
#4 Syracuse Orange -3.5
#3 Marquette Golden Eagles +3.5
Over/Under 128
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Key #2: The lengthy Golden Eagles have to continue playing defense in the half court
What we love about Big East basketball is that a lot of the teams play very similar styles, and it isn’t all that often that a team wins a game and the casual observer is left to wonder why. For anyone that has watched the three games that Marquette has played here in March Madness, the equation has been particularly simple: The Golden Eagles have to force the game into the half court, and from there, they have to let their athleticism take over. Marquette only allowed 62.8 points per game this season, so perhaps we shouldn’t be all that shocked that it has had three very good defensive games in the dance. However, the three clubs that have faced Marquette have combined to shoot under 40 percent from the floor, and that’s the type of number that can really stun some neutral observers. Syracuse has made a habit of forcing teams into bad shots, but the Golden Eagles have been pulling off that same stunt as well in the second season.

WagerWeb

Key #3: Three-Pointers have to fly in for Golden Eagles
Marquette is a team that loves to get inside the paint and try to get things to happen. The first time that these two met this year, they only took 26 shots from inside the arc for the whole game, as opposed to 21 that came from the outside. What nearly cost the Golden Eagles that game is the fact that they shot just 5-of-21, 23.8 percent from three-point land. For the season, they’re only just barely shooting over 30% from long range, but here in the dance, they are knocking down a much more respectable 36.4 percent from downtown. It doesn’t take all that many threes to win a game, but the ones that are taken are going to have to be hit. Syracuse is just too good in the 2-3 zone to ultimately allow gobs of points in the paint. Just look back at the game against Indiana. The Orange literally had a block party against the Hoosiers, swatting away a stunning 11-of-47 shot attempts. Marquette won’t be able to challenge on the inside, so it has to take the game outside and be effective out there as a result.

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Posted in NCAA Basketball - Last Updated on Saturday, March 30th, 2013 @ 8:16 am (EST)
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