2014 NCAA Tournament South Region Preview: (11) Dayton Flyers vs. (3) Syracuse Orange
Betting odds courtesy of Bovada
Syracuse closed the regular season by losing five of its last seven, but it won its second round matchup against Western Michigan 77-53 to advance to a showdown against the Dayton Flyers. Dayton pulled a huge upset of in-state rival Ohio State, but will have trouble overcoming Syracuse. College basketball oddsmakers favor the Orange by 7 points in third round action Saturday night.
Syracuse used a balanced attack against Western Michigan, with four of its five starters scoring in double figures. Tyler Ennis hit 7-of-11 from the floor en route to 16 points, six assists and two steals. Ennis is projected to be a lottery pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, and his steady play is a big reason why many expect Syracuse to make a run in this tournament. C.J. Fair is also an elite scorer, though he did commit five turnovers against Western Michigan. Fair hit 6-of-13 from the floor for 14 points.
Dayton defeated OSU 60-59, behind 12 points and eight rebounds from Dyshawn Pierre. Pierre did not miss a shot, hitting 2-of-2 from the floor (1-of-1 from three-point range) and 7-of-7 from the free throw line. Dayton hit 13-of-17 from the line as a team and the rebounding battle was even.
Pierre averaged 11.1 points per game this season. Jordan Sibert and Devin Oliver each averaged 12 points per game for Dayton. The Flyers shot 46.6 percent from the floor this season while averaging 73 points per game.
SYR Trends: 3-14 ATS in last 17 vs A-10; 2-6-1 ATS in last 9 overall; OVER 5-2-2 in last 9 non-conference games.