Baylor vs. Syracuse
|Date & Time||Thursday March 21, 2019, 9:57 PM (EDT)|
Vivint Smart Home Arena
Salt Lake City, Utah
The Line: Syracuse -1.5 -- Over/Under:
The Baylor Bears and Syracuse Orange meet Thursday in the first round of the college basketball NCAA Tournament at the Vivint Smart Home Arena.
The Baylor Bears enter this game in shaky form, which includes a four-game losing streak. The Baylor Bears are averaging 71.7 points on 44 percent shooting and allowing 67.2 points on 42.2 percent shooting. Tristan Clark is averaging 14.6 points and 1.6 assists while Makai Mason is averaging 14.6 points and 2.5 rebounds. Mario Kegler is the third double-digit scorer and Jared Butler is grabbing 3.1 rebounds. The Baylor Bears are shooting 34 percent from beyond the arc and 67.4 percent from the free throw line. The Baylor Bears are allowing 34.1 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 38.2 rebounds per game. The Baylor Bears have lost five of their last six non-home games.
The Syracuse Orange also finished the regular season in a funk, losing six of their last nine games. The Syracuse Orange are averaging 69.7 points on 42.4 percent shooting and allowing 65.7 points on 39.8 percent shooting. Tyus Battle is averaging 17.2 points and 2.5 assists while Elijah Hughes is averaging 13.4 points and 1.4 assists. Oshae Brissett is the third double-digit scorer and Frank Howard is grabbing two rebounds. The Syracuse Orange are shooting 33 percent from beyond the arc and 68.1 percent from the free throw line. The Syracuse Orange are allowing 32.3 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 34.7 rebounds per game. The Syracuse Orange have lost four of their last six non-home games.
The Bears are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 NCAA Tournament games, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games and 1-8-2 ATS in their last 11 games overall. The Orange are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 NCAA Tournament games, 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 neutral site games and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 vs. Big 12. The over is 5-0 in Orange last 5 neutral site games. The under is 8-0 in Bears last 8 non-conference games. The under is 8-1 in Orange last 9 non-conference games. The over is 15-5 in Bears last 20 overall.
Neither of these teams are playing well entering the tournament, but we've heard that many times before with the Syracuse Orange, and they seem to always put together a run out of nowhere. Every year people say Syracuse shouldn't be in the big dance, and it ends up being one of the teams that destroys brackets. The Baylor Bears enter this game shooting just 40.2 percent from the field and losing by an average of 6.6 points in their last five games. Baylor has watched its defense slip the last two games and needed overtime to beat a bad Texas team, otherwise the Bears would be riding a five-game losing streak. I'll side with the Orange based on consistent tournament success and that zone defense adding to the Baylor's offensive struggles.