Game of the Day
Ignoring the Big 10 (eager beavers up there eh?), all of the major conference tournaments kick off today. Let’s take a look:
Tuesday 3/6/18, 7pm, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
The Guru and Go: “Syracuse has under-performed enough this season. It’s win-or-die time, and while Jimmy B may be old, he isn’t ready to call it quits just yet, especially in Brooklyn! Tyus Battle, Oshae “Canadian Double-Double Maker” Brissett and Frank Howard get things going early. After jumping out to a double-digit lead Cuse holds on and just manages to cover, however, I’m liking the first half spread better than the final given Cuse’s lack of depth and history of collapsing..” – Bookie Monster (0-0)
Bet: Syracuse 1H -2.5
Final Prediction: Syracuse 68 Wake Forest 61
Break Down: Syracuse is still alive for a tourney spot, but this is without a question a must-win. The Orange have dropped four of their last six games including a 15 point loss after a second half collapse. Wake Forest, the 14th seed in the ACC, will look to the memory bank for some cues, hoping to return to their form on 1/3/18 when they beat Syracuse at home by a final of 73-67, behind 19 points from junior guard Bryant Crawford.
Crawford, who leads the Deacons with 16.7 ppg and 4.9 apg and recently put up 29 in a losing effort vs. NC State will likely need to be heroic for Wake to have any shot. Stopping Orange guard Tyus Battle (20 ppg) wouldn’t be a bad call either. The problem is, the Orange have two other double-digit scorers laying in the wait: junior guard Frank Howard and freshman forward Oshae Brissett (14.8ppg).
As is always the case facing Jim Boeheim’s Syracuse squad, WF must effectively spread the court, use high screens, and knock down open shots to break Boeheim’s signature 2-3 zone. Look for 7’1″ junior center Doral Moore to set screens up top in order to free some space for the ball handler, ideally forcing the zone to rotate.
One final point of emphasis is the depth on the Syracuse end. The early season departure of guard Geno Thorpe has resulted in the Orange maintaining a regular rotation of just seven players. If Wake Forest can get a Syracuse starter to pick up a couple early fouls, ideally Battle, the lack of depth could play in the Deacon’s favor.
“One Guru alone can defeat 10,000 men riding elephants” – Julius Caesar