Offense or defense? Which wins out when Michigan and Syracuse meet up this weekend with a spot in the national championship game on the line?
This is where having stakes in multiple books can really help
you out. Some books have a spread of two on the NCAAB odds board, while 2.5 is also
available at certain outlets if you think the Wolverines are the correct side.
You can't forget about a total play either with your sports
picks. The O/U is residing in and around the 131-point mark.
Two nights after surviving a true test of will in an
overtime win against Kansas, the Wolverines annihilated Florida in the Elite
No extra periods necessary. Michigan was dominant right from
the start, jumping out to a 13-0 lead and never looking back. The Wolverines
were up 47-30 at halftime and went on to win the second half (32-29) too for
Trey Burke picked up right where he left off, finishing with
15 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, and three steals. More impressively,
he only turned the ball over once.
Still, it was Nik Stauskas that was getting most of the
attention. He was on fire against the Gators, hitting 7-of-8 shots, including a
perfect 6-of-6 from beyond the arc, en route to 22 points. Mitch McGary
continued his fine play with 11 points, nine rebounds, five steals and two
The Wolverines offense is looking mighty good right now,
having averaged 78.8 PPG over their four NCAA tournament wins. The ultimate
test arrives this weekend though in the form of Syracuse's zone defense.
They say defense wins championship, and Syracuse is hoping
that moniker holds true as they prepare for Burke and the Wolverines.
They've been scary good defensively in the tournament,
holding opponents to a laughable average of 45.6 PPG. Neither Montana (34
points) or Marquette (39) were able to even break the 40-point barrier.
The Orange made Indiana look very mediocre in a 61-50 win in
the Sweet 16, clearly their most impressive win of the Big Dance so far, and
then were all over Marquette in a 16-point victory in their final eight
Michael Carter-Williams followed up a 24-point performance
against the Hoosiers by completing a 12/8/6 line to go along with five steals
against the Golden Eagles. James Southerland added 16 points and C.J. Fair
posted 13 points and six boards.
The Orange are going to need to force their pace upon the
Wolverines, slowing the game down whenever possible and making Michigan work
extremely hard on every possession. Jim Boeheim's team will likely be in
trouble if they engage themselves in a shootout with the explosive Wolverines.
See why Jeff Grant thinks that this game will go the other way~
College Basketball Pick
What a battle this will be. It's a clash between contrasting
styles, as Michigan has been out of this world offensively, while Syracuse's
zone defense has been a tough nut to crack.
When push comes to shove, we like the Wolverines to cover
this small number.
A big reason why? The Orange have yet to deal with a point
guard like Burke in the tournament so far. He's been ridiculously good and is
going to be at the heart of everything Michigan does this weekend. Plus, you've
got to have good shooters to beat a zone, and the Wolverines have no shortage
Syracuse had a nice win over the Hoosiers, but their overall
body of work doesn't impress us as much as Michigan's. The Wolverines have
beaten four quality programs in Florida, Kansas, VCU, and San Diego State, and
ultimately we think they should be the team you take with your college basketball
Pick: Michigan Wolverines +2.5 at 5 Dimes