Syracuse Orange vs. Western Michigan Broncos 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
The Western Michigan Broncos play the Syracuse Orange in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday.
The Western Michigan Broncos improved to 23-9, 14-4 MAC after beating Toledo 98-77 in the conference championship game on Saturday. On the season, David Brown leads the Broncos in scoring, averaging an impressive 19.4 points per game. Shanye Whittington is averaging 16.3 points per game while also averaging a team-high 9.1 rebounds per game. Connar Tava is averaging 12 points per game while leading the team with 2.8 assists per contest. As a team, the Broncos are averaging a solid 72.5 points per game, while shooting 46.6% from the field this season. Western Michigan is a decent rebounding team, pulling down 34.9 boards per game. The Broncos have won four straight games and twelve of their last fourteen games overall. Western Michigan is 4-0 on neutral courts this season.
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The Syracuse Orange dropped to 27-5, 14-4 ACC after losing 66-63 North Carolina State in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament on Friday. On the season, C.J. Fair leads the Orange with 16.7 points per game while also averaging 6.2 rebounds per contest. Trevor Cooney is averaging a second-best 12.5 points per game, while Tyler Ennis is averaging 12.7 points per game and a team-high 5.6 assists per game. If Syracuse is going to make a run in the NCAA tournament they will need Jerami Grant, who has been dealing with a back injury, to stay healthy. Grant is averaging 12 points and 6.9 rebounds per game this season. The Orange are shooting 43.7% from the field while averaging 68.2 points per game as a team this season. Syracuse is a decent rebounding team, averaging 35.3 boards per game. Syracuse has lost five of their last seven games in conference play including going 1-1 in the conference tournament. The Orange went an impressive 7-2 on the road in conference play and are now 3-1 on neutral courts this season.
Western Michigan can shoot the ball well as a team and they have not had much trouble scoring on most of the teams they’ve played this year. The Broncos have not faced the Syracuse zone and the Orange will be focused heading into the tournament, after struggling at the end of the regular season. I think Syracuse will get the win, but the Broncos will score enough to keep it within 12 points.