NCAA Tournament Sweet 16: (11) Syracuse (18-9) vs (2) Houston (26-3) prediction and college basketball game preview.
Syracuse vs Houston Broadcast
Date: Saturday, March 27
Game Time: 9:55 pm ET
Venue: Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Syracuse vs Houston Game Preview
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Why Syracuse Will Win
And there goes Syracuse in the NCAA Tournament when no one thinks it’s going to do too much.
The Orange have turned it on at just the right time with ridiculous shooting from three and the defense giving San Diego State and West Virginia too many problems. Neither opponent was able to hit 40% from the field, Syracuse nailed 29 threes in the two games, and that’s it.
There wasn’t a more confident shooting team in the first round, with the Orange bombing away at will to keep the late-season outside success going. They’ve hit double-digit threes in four of their last five games with the only outlier a loss to Virginia, and now they get a Houston team that allowed Cleveland State and Rutgers to combine for 42% from three in the first two rounds.
Syracuse has the ability to close out quickly on the Houston outside game, it’s fast enough to keep up if this gets into a race, and it’s got the ability to at least not get destroyed on the boards, but …
Why Houston Will Win
This is one nasty team.
The Cougars had to grind against Rutgers in a brawl, and they managed to pull out a 63-60 win even though the shooting wasn’t there and the free throws weren’t dropping.
The 63 points tied for the team’s lowest output of the season. On the plus side, it won.
It’s had to deal with several tough games against good defense, including a fight in the AAC Tournament against Memphis along with a few battles with Wichita State. Syracuse brings a whole other set of challenges, but this team knows how to attack, it’s not going to buckle under the pressure – it’s not a turnover-prone team – and it can play a little D, too.
What’s Going To Happen
Syracuse gets all the love and respect for its defense, but Houston is every bit as tough.
San Diego State played a fantastic style of D, too, and it didn’t matter against the Syracuse outside shooters. Houston has allowed just two teams – East Carolina and Wichita State – to hit double-digit threes, and it lost both games.
It’ll take its chances on Syracuse trying to make things happen in the interior, but it’s got the quickness and the overall scheme to lock down hard on an Orange offense that will have to keep up and get out of its comfort zone a wee bit.
San Diego State actually had the right makeup to take down Syracuse, but it couldn’t hit a thing once the momentum was all on the other side. Houston won’t have that problem.
Syracuse is 1-7 when allowing teams to hit 45% or better from the field, and that one win was in overtime against Buffalo. Houston hits 44% a game and is 19-1 when making more than 39%.
This will be among the most intense games of the tournament.
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Syracuse vs Houston Prediction, Line
Houston 68, Syracuse 65
Bet on college basketball with BetMGM
Line: Houston -6, o/u: 140
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
Must See Rating: 4