Two Power Five stalwarts meet on East Coast
A season removed from reaching the Final Four, Syracuse must settle for potential NIT glory this March. But does Ole Miss have the goods to send Jim Boeheim’s program packing on the tourney’s opening weekend?
The two schools will square off in second-round action, with an 11 a.m. ET tip today in New York. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives the Orange odds of -290 to emerge victorious. Conversely, the Rebels represent +275 underdogs.
After finishing 10-8 in ACC play, Syracuse failed to earn its eighth Big Dance berth in nine years. The squad appeared fully engaged three nights ago, though, notching a 90-77 win over UNC Greensboro. Guard Andrew White III scored 34 points and added six rebounds. The graduate transfer from Nebraska’s brethren had a chance to shine, too, as the Orange converted at a 42.8 percent rate from beyond the arc and outrebounded the Spartans 36-28.
Andy Kennedy’s troops used a similarly gritty effort on the glass to knock off Monmouth earlier in the week. Nonetheless, the Rebels are about to encounter something completely different: the Orange’s vaunted 2-3 zone, which forces foes to camp out on the perimeter. Unfortunately, Ole Miss ranked among the SEC’s worst perimeter attacks.
It should be noted that Boeheim continues to get the most out of his wonderfully tall, rangy frontcourt. We view that component as the biggest difference here, with Kennedy simply unable to match personnel along those lines. Count on the Carrier Dome’s finest to pull away several minutes into the second half.
SATURDAY NCAA FREE PICK: UNDER 158.5 POINTS