Big East Championship: #19 Syracuse Orange vs #4 Louisville Cardinals

2013 Big East Championship Game
#5 Syracuse Orange vs #2 Louisville Cardinals
Saturday, March 16, 2013, 8:30 pm Eastern, TV:
ESPN
Madison Square Garden – New York City, New York
Opening Line: Louisville -5
Current Line: Louisville -5 1/2
Opening Total: 123
Current Total: 124 1/2
Opening Money Line: Louisville -210 / Syracuse +180
Current Money Line: Louisville -250 / Syracuse +210

 

Louisville is a 5.5 point favorite against Syracuse in the Big East Championship game.

Louisville is a 5.5 point favorite against Syracuse in the Big East Championship game.

The 28-5 Louisville Cardinals could be in line for a #1 seed if they win the Big East tournament for the second year in a row. The #4 ranked Cardinals tied with Georgetown and Marquette at 14-4 for the Big East title.  The Cardinals were seeded #2 in the Big East Tournament because of the tiebreaker. The Cardinals beat Villanova 74-55 in the quarterfinals, and beat Notre Dame last night in the semis 69-57. The Cardinals have won 9 straight games.

Next up for Louisville is a date with the #5 seed Syracuse Orange. The 26-8 Orange finished 11-7 in conference, and were tied for fifth with Notre Dame. Syracuse lost 4 of 5 games to complete the regular season. The Orange beat Seton Hall 75-63 in the second round of the Big East tournament, then beat Pitt 62-59 in the quarters and upset top seed Georgetown 58-55 in overtime in the semifinals.

Louisville leads the series 14-7 against Syracuse. The Orange have won 3 of the last meetings against Louisville. The two teams split the series this year with each winning on the road. Syracuse won 70-68 in Louisville January 19. Louisville won in Syracuse 58-53 March 2. That sent Syracuse to their third straight defeat against the 3 eventual conference champs. Both Louisville and Syracuse will join the ACC in the next couple of seasons, along with Notre Dame and Pittsburgh.

Syracuse is coached by Jim Boeheim. The Orange have losses to Temple in Madison Square Garden, at Villanova, at Pittsburgh, at Connecticut, Georgetown twice, Louisville, and Marquette. The Georgetown loss snapped a 38 game home winning streak for Syracuse. The Orange have key wins over San Diego St on an aircraft carrier, Princeton, at Arkansas, Eastern Michigan Long Beach St, and Detroit. In conference Syracuse has home wins over Rutgers, Villanova, Cincinnati, Notre Dame, St. John’s, and Providence, along with road wins at South Florida, Providence,   Louisville, and Seton Hall. The Orange are 17-13 ATS and the total is 13-15 this season.

Syracuse is outscoring teams 72-60 this season. The Orange are #31 in points allowed.  Syracuse is shooting 44.1% from the field and 33.1% from 3 point range. The Orange make 68.3% of their free throws. Syracuse averages 38.7 rebounds per game and allows 30.3 to opponents. Syracuse is #21 in rebounding nationally. Orange opponents are shooting 37.6% from the field and 29.8% from 3 point range. Syracuse is in the top twenty nationally in both categories. The Orange average 15 assists, 9 steals, 6 blocks and 12 turnovers a game.

Brandon Triche averages 13.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. C.J. Fair averages 14.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block a game. James Southerland averages 14 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.4 steals and 1 block per game. He missed  6 games due to being ineligible. Michael Carter-Williams averages 12 points, 4.8 rebounds, 7.8 assists, and 2.8 steals a game.  Rakeem Christmas, DaJuan Coleman, Trevor Cooney, Baye Keita and Jerami Grant make up the rest of the rotation.

Louisville is coached by Rick Pitino. The Cardinals have losses to Duke in a tournament in the Bahamas, at home to Syracuse, and at Villanova, Georgetown, and Notre Dame. The Cardinals have key wins over Northern Iowa & Missouri in the Bahamas, Illinois St, College of Charleston, at Memphis, Western Kentucky, at Kentucky, Providence, South Florida twice, Seton Hall twice, at UConn, Pitt, Marquette, at Rutgers, St. John’s, at Depaul, and at Syracuse and Cincinnati and Notre Dame. The Cardinals are 19-14 ATS and the total is 13-14 this season.

Louisville is outscoring teams 73-58 this season. The Cardinals are 44th or better in both categories. Louisville is shooting 44.7% from the field and 33.1% from 3 point range. The Cardinals make 71.1% of their free throws. Louisville averages 37.5 rebounds per game and allows 30.7. Cardinal opponents are shooting 38.8% from the field and 30.8% from 3 point range. The Cardinals are #20 in opponent’s field goal percentage. Louisville averages 15 assists, 11 steals, 4 blocks and 13 turnovers.

Guard Russ Smith averages 18.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals per game. Forward Chane Behanan averages 10.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Center Gorgui Dieng averages 10.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.3 steals, and 2.6 blocks per game. Guard Peyton Siva averages 10 points, 2.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 2.2 steals per game. Guard /forward Wayne Blackshear averages 8.1 points, and 3.3 rebounds. Luke Hancock averages 7.4 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1 steal per game. Montrezi Harrell, Kevin Ware, and Stephan Van Treese make up the rest of the rotation. Center Mangok Mathiang and guard Mike Marra have missed the entire season.

Syracuse is 4-0 ATS when playing 4 straight days, and 1-5 in Saturday games. The underdog is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 in this series.

Louisville is 6-0 ATS overall, and in Big East games, 5-0 against teams with winning records, 13-0 in neutral site games, 24-9 after a cover, and 40-19-1 after a win. Louisville is 8-2-1 ATS in the last 11 against Syracuse.

Despite their recent struggles, Syracuse was a top 10 team for most of the season. This will be a war and very physical. Syracuse certainly has the talent to pull off the upset, but 4 games in 4 days will take it’s toll. Louisville wins a close game.

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