March Madness Prediction: Gonzaga vs Syracuse

Posted by Aaron . on March 21, 2016 in

The Gonzaga Bulldogs and the Syracuse Orange meet in a Sweet 16 battle of Cinderellas on Friday night. Syracuse, a 10-seed in the Midwest region, beat 7-seed Dayton in the first round and then 15-seed Middle Tennessee State, winning by 19 and 25 points, respectively. The 11-seed Bulldogs knocked off 6-seed Seton Hall by 16 and then routed 3-seed Utah by 23. So we have two teams who were clearly seeded well below where they should have been, at least on the basis of performance — but now we will have at least a 10-seed in the Elite Eight. Find out the latest NCAAB betting lines here.

March Madness Prediction: Gonzaga Bulldogs vs Syracuse Orange

When: Friday, March 25, 2016, 10:40 PM ET (approx)
Where: United Center, Chicago, IL
TV: CBS
Radio: Syracuse ISP Sports Network
Live Stream: March Madness Live
NCAAB Odds: Gonzaga (-4.5), O/U 135

Why should you bet on the Orange?

In their first two games in March Madness, Syracuse has played a close first half and then blown the opposition’s doors off after the intermission. Against Middle Tennessee State, Syracuse won the second half 44-23, including a 16-0 run. The Orange’s vaunted 2-3 defense limited the Blue Raiders to only 30% shooting from the floor, including 8 for 24, which was a major drop from their performance in knocking off Michigan State in the first round. The Orange have one of the top defenses in the nation, limiting to 64.8 points per game, good for 27th in the NCAA.

Why should you put your money on Gonzaga?

The Bulldogs are clearly on fire right now; against Utah, they jumped out to an 8-5 lead early on and just kept growing. They shot 56% for the game, including going 9 for 19 from downtown. The big story was Eric McClellan’s 22 points, but four players got into double figures. The defense, though, has also been a huge factor in the winning, as Seton Hall (52 points) and Utah (59 points) are two solid offensive teams who were simply shut down by Gonzaga’s defense. For the season, they ranked #36 in the NCAA, limiting opponents to 65.6 points per game.

Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction

I don’t see Gonzaga continuing to shoot this well in a third consecutive game, as the harassing defense of the Orange will swarm over them. I like Syracuse to win in a close contest and go to the Elite Eight, winning 66-62.