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Syracuse Orange vs. Western Michigan Broncos NCAA Tournament South Region Pick-Odds-Prediction 3/20/14

Western Michigan Broncos (23-9) at Syracuse Orange (27-5)

College Basketball: Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 2:45 pm (First Niagara Center)

The Line: Syracuse Orange -13 -- Over/Under: 128 See the Latest Odds

TV: CBS

The Western Michigan Broncos battle the Syracuse Orange in 14-3 action from the south region at 2:45PM Thursday on CBS.

Western Michigan won the MAC conference title with a dominant, 98-77 win over Toledo last weekend.  The Rockets were the favorite to win the league but the Broncos made a big statement with a dominant win.  The Broncos shoot the ball well and their national ranking of 61st overall reflects that (46.6%).  The Broncos feature a 1-2 punch on offense that is led by guard David Brown.  Brown averages 19.4 points per game and is one of the top scorers in the MAC conference.  On the blocks, senior guard Shayne Whittington leads the way.  Whittington is a load at 6-11 and averages 16.3 points per game and 9.1 rebounds, giving the Broncos an experienced scoring presence they are able to rely on from game to game.

Syracuse Orange vs. Western Michigan Broncos NCAA Tournament South Region Pick-Odds-Prediction 3/20/14

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse limps into tourney play somewhat.  After starting off the season 25-0 and soaring to #1 for quite a few weeks, the Orange lost 5 of their final 7 contests and struggled to score the ball down the stretch.  The Orange should have a healthy Jerami Grant which should make a big difference.  The Orange’s struggles down the stretch correlated directly with Grant’s absence with injury. The Orange are deep with all conference point guard Tyler Ennis and arguably one of the best players in the ACC in CJ Fair (16.7 points, 6.7 rebounds per game).  Syracuse will need to employ their 2-3 zone to rattle Brown and keep Whittington off the blocks.

Western Michigan is a veteran team and features some quality players, but this Syracuse team has been on the big stage before and they certainly know when to turn it on.  I like the Orange to overwhelm the Broncos defensively and for Tyler Ennis to control the offense, as CJ Fair scores 20+ and Jerami Grant pulls down double digit rebounds and the Cuse rolls to the cover and win.

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Syracuse -13

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