College Hoops Picks: Notre Dame Fighting Irish at #6 Syracuse Orange

Notre Dame Fighting Irish at #6 Syracuse Orange
Monday, February 4, 2013, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV:
ESPN
Carrier Dome – Syracuse, New York
Opening Line: Syracuse -9
Current Line: Syracuse -8
Opening Total: 134 1/2
Current Total: 133 1/2
Opening Money Line: Syracuse -425 / Notre Dame +355
Current Money Line: Syracuse -400 / Notre Dame +330

Syracuse looks to snap a 2 game losing streak as they host Notre Dame Monday night. The Orange are 8 point favorites.

Syracuse looks to snap a 2 game losing streak as they host Notre Dame Monday night. The Orange are 8 point favorites.

The Big East is a jumbled mess, with 9 teams within a game of first place. Two of the top teams in the conference meet Monday night in Syracuse. The 18-3 Syracuse Orange are tied for first in the conference with Marquette at 6-2. The 18-4 Notre dame Fighting Irish are tied with Cincinnati, Louisville and Georgetown with a 6-3 record for second. All four teams are a half game behind the conference leaders.

The Fighting Irish and Orange meet Monday night in the Carrier Dome for the 44th time in history. Syracuse leads the series 24-19, including 11-9 in Syracuse. Notre Dame hasn’t won at Syracuse since 2007. However, Notre Dame upset then undefeated #1 Syracuse last season 67-58 in South Bend last season in the last meeting between the schools. This is the only scheduled meeting between the schools unless they meet in the Big East or NCAA tournaments. Both schools will leave the Big East for the ACC in the next couple of seasons.

Notre Dame is coached by Mike Brey. The Fighting Irish have loss in a tournament in Brooklyn in overtime to St. Joseph’s, at home against UConn, and Georgetown and at St. John’s. Notre Dame has key wins over BYU in Brooklyn, George Washington, Kentucky, Purdue in Indianapolis, at Cincinnati, South Florida, and DePaul Saturday 79-71 in overtime, and at home against Seton Hall, Rutgers and Villanova. Notre Dame has won 3 straight games. The Fighting Irish are 10-9 ATS and the total is 8-8 this season.

Notre Dame is outscoring teams 73-62 this season. Notre Dame is shooting 49.3% from the field and 39.6% from 3 point range. The Fighting Irish are #9 in field goal percentage and #17 in 3 point shooting. The Irish make 70.4% of their free throws. Notre Dame averages 35.4 rebounds per game and they give up 28.1 to opponents. Irish opponents are shooting  40.9% from the field and 32.9% from 3 point range. The Fighting Irish average 18 assists, 5 steals, 4 blocks, and and 10 turnovers.

Notre Dame forward Jack Cooley averages 15 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. Guard Jerian Grant averages 12.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Guard Eric Atkins averages 11.8 points, 2.3 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. Pat Connaughton averages 9.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists a game. Guard Scott Martin averages 7.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. He is out indefinitely with a knee injury.  Cameron Biedscheid averages 7.5 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists. Center Garrick Sherman averages 7 points, and 3.4 rebounds per game. Tom Knight also gets time in the rotation. Forward Eric Katenda is out indefinitely for undisclosed reasons.

Syracuse is coached by Jim Boeheim. The Orange have losses to Temple in Madison Square Garden, at Villanova, and at Pittsburgh Saturday 65-55. Syracuse has lost 2 straight games in conference. 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, and Cincinnati, along with road wins at South Florida, Providence and  Louisville. The Orange are 10-7 ATS and the total is 7-8 this season.

Syracuse is outscoring teams 76-59 this season. The Orange are #34 or better in both categories.  Syracuse is shooting 44.8% from the field and 32.3% from 3 point range. The Orange make 67.1% of their free throws. Syracuse averages 41.1 rebounds per game and allows 31.2 to opponents. Syracuse is #11 in rebounding nationally. Orange opponents are shooting 36.4% from the field and 28.3% from 3 point range. Syracuse is in the top ten nationally in both categories. The Orange average 15 assists, 10 steals, 7 blocks and 13 turnovers a game.

Brandon Triche averages 14.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. C.J. Fair averages 13.7 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block a game. James Southerland averages 13.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. He has missed the last 5 games due to being ineligible. Michael Carter-Williams averages 12.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 8.6 assists, and 3 steals a game.  Rakeem Christmas, DaJuan Coleman, Trevor Cooney, Baye Keita and Jerami Grant make up the rest of the rotation.

Notre Dame is 7-3 ATS in road games, and against teams with winning home records, 8-20-2 in Monday games, 2-5 overall, and against Big East teams, and 1-5 against teams with winning records. The fighting Irish are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games in Syracuse.

Syracuse is 6-13 ATS at home against teams with winning road records, 1-5 after failing to cover, against teams with winning records, overall, and against Big East team. The home team and favorite is 5-1 ATS in the last six in this series.

Syracuse looks to snap a two game losing streak as they return home to the comfy confines of the Carrier Dome. Notre Dame has won 3 straight games. Still I think Syracuse breaks out of their slump and gets a tough home win.

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