Battle For First in the Big East: #11 Georgetown Hoyas at #8 Syracuse Orange

#11 Georgetown Hoyas at #8 Syracuse Orange
Saturday, February 23, 2013, 4:00 pm eastern, TV: CBS
Carrier Dome – Syracuse, New York
Opening Line: Syracuse -7
Current Line: Syracuse -7 1/2
Opening Total: 122
Current Total: 123 1/2
Opening Money Line: Syracuse -275 / Georgetown +235
Current Money Line: Syracuse -325 / Georgetown +275


Syracuse and Georgetown meet Saturday with first place in the Big East on the line. The Orange are 7.5 point favorites in the Carrier Dome.
Syracuse and Georgetown meet Saturday with first place in the Big East on the line. The Orange are 7.5 point favorites in the Carrier Dome.

Both the Syracuse Orange and Georgetown Hoyas are 10-3 in the Big East and tied with Marquette for first in the conference. The 22-4 Orange host the 20-4 Hoyas Saturday.

Syracuse leads the series 48-39 against Georgetown including 30-11 in Syracuse. The teams have split the last 4 meetings. They will close out the regular season against each other March 9 in Washington, DC. These could be the last two meetings between these rivals as Syracuse will leave the Big East for the ACC next season.

Georgetown started off the season 10-1 in non-conference play under coach John Thompson III. The only came to Indiana in overtime in a tournament in Brooklyn. The Hoyas struggled early in Big East play with losses at Marquette, and South Florida, and at home against Pittsburgh. Georgetown has wins at St. Johns, Notre Dame and Rutgers, and at home against Providence, Louisville, Seton Hall, St. John’s Marquette, at Cincinnati, and Depaul Wednesday 90-66.. The Hoyas also have wins over Duquesne, UCLA, Tennessee, and Texas. Georgetown had a game against Florida canceled because of bad weather that was supposed to be on an aircraft carrier. The Hoyas have won 8 straight games Georgetown is 13-7 ATS and the total is 8-9 this season.

Georgetown is outscoring teams 65-56 this season. The Hoyas are #10 in points allowed. The Hoyas are shooting 46.6% from the field including 35.2% from 3 point range. Georgetown is #39 in field goal percentage. Georgetown makes 67.3% of their free throws. The Hoyas are averaging 33.1 rebounds per game and give up 28.5 per game. Georgetown opponents are shooting 37.6% from the field and 29.8% from 3 point range. The Hoyas are #10 in opponents’ field goal percentage and #23 in three point defense. Georgetown averages 15 assists, 8 steals, 4 blocks, and 13 turnovers per game.

Forward Otto Porter, Jr. averages 15.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.8 steals and 1 block per game. He is probable with a knee injury. Guard Markel Starks averages 12.4 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1.3 steals per game.  Forward Greg Whittington averages 12.1 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Whittington has missed the last 11 games due to being academically ineligible. He is out indefinitely.Guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera averages 8.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. Forward Nate Lubick averages 7.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.9 assists a game. Forward Mikael Hopkins averages 6.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1 steal and 1.2 blocks per game.  Jabril Trawick will also get significant minutes in the rotation. Center Tyler Adams is ineligible for the season.

Syracuse is coached by Jim Boeheim. The Orange have losses to Temple in Madison Square Garden, at Villanova, at Pittsburgh, and at Connecticut. Syracuse has won 2 straight games in conference, and 4 of the last 5 . 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 Wednesday 84-59, along with road wins at South Florida, Providence,   Louisville, and Seton Hall. The Orange are 14-8 ATS and the total is 10-10 this season.

Syracuse is outscoring teams 75-59 this season. The Orange are #31 or better in both categories.  Syracuse is shooting 45% from the field and 32.7% from 3 point range. The Orange make 68.4% of their free throws. Syracuse averages 40.1 rebounds per game and allows 30.7 to opponents. Syracuse is #12 in rebounding nationally. Orange opponents are shooting 37% from the field and 28.9% from 3 point range. Syracuse is in the top eleven nationally in both categories. The Orange average 15 assists, 10 steals, 7 blocks and 12 turnovers a game.

Brandon Triche averages 14.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. C.J. Fair averages 14.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block a game. James Southerland averages 13.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.4 steals and 1 block per game. He missed  6 games due to being ineligible. Michael Carter-Williams averages 12.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 8.2 assists, and 3 steals a game.  Rakeem Christmas, DaJuan Coleman, Trevor Cooney, Baye Keita and Jerami Grant make up the rest of the rotation. Coleman is questionable with a knee injury.

Georgetown is 7-0 ATS after a win, a cover, and against teams with winning records, 10-1 overall, 5-1 in Saturday games, in road games, and against teams with winning home records, 16-5 after a straight up win of more than 20 points, and 18-6 in Big east games. The road team is 5-0 ATS and the underdog is 4-0 in this series recently.

Syracuse is 7-1 ATS after a straight up win of 20 points or more, 4-1 against teams with winning records, overall, and against Big East teams, and overall, and 5-2 at home.

Although Georgetown has been red hot recently, the Carrier Dome is a tough place to play. Syracuse has won 4 of  their last 5 since Southerland returned from his suspension. Both teams give up less than 60 points a game, so this should be a defensive struggle. That really isn’t a surprise with these longtime rivals. I like Syracuse to win, but the Hoyas keep it close.

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