Number One Syracuse Orange Try To Stay Unbeaten at North Carolina St Wolfpack

#1 Syracuse Orange at North Carolina St Wolfpack
RBC Center – Raleigh, North Carolina
Saturday, December 17, 2011, 6:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Opening Line: Syracuse -7
Current Line: Syracuse -7
Opening Total: 144
Current Total: 145 1/2
Opening Money Line: Syracuse -310 / NC State +260
Current Money Line: Syracuse -300 / NC State +250

Syracuse UConn Big East Tournament Preview
Kris Joseph and the #1 Orange look to remain undefeated as they take on NC State in Raleigh. Syracuse is a 7 point favorite.

The Syracuse Orange are 10-0 and ranked #1 in the country under coach Jim Boeheim. This is despite a sex abuse scandal that is hanging over the program that led to the firing of top assistant coach Bernie Fine. The Orange have dealt with the distractions well so far, with wins over Virginia Tech and Stanford in Madison Square Garden in the pre-season NIT, along with a win over then #9 Florida. The Orange try to remain undefeated as they travel to 6-3 North Carolina St, coached by Mark Gottfried. The Wolfpack have losses to Vanderbilt in East Rutherford, New Jersey, at home to Indiana, and at Stanford. NC State has wins over Princeton at home and Texas in New Jersey. Syracuse leads the series 3-1 including a 65-59 win last season in the Carrier Dome. The two teams will become conference rivals in the near future when Syracuse leaves the Big East for the ACC.

Syracuse is outscoring opponents 80-57 this season. The Orange are shooting 47.6% from the field including 34.5% on 3 point shots. Syracuse makes 68.1% of their free throws. The Orange average 38.7 rebounds a game and have a rebounding margin of +3.7. Syracuse averages 17.2 assists, 11.9 turnovers, 12.3 steals, and 6.9 blocks a game. Orange opponents shoot 36.8% from the field, including 29.9% from 3 point range. Syracuse forces 20.3 turnovers a game.

Syracuse forward Kris Joseph averages 13.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.4 steals a game. He is the leading scorer and rebounder for the Orange. Dion Waiters averages 11.9 points, 1.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 2.4 steals a game to lead the team. Brandon Triche averages 11.1 points, 2.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1 steal a game. James Sutherland averages 8.6 points, 3 rebounds, 1.4 steals a game, and 1 block  a game. Scoop Jardine averages 8.3 points, 2 rebounds, 4.1 assists to lead the team, and 2 steals a game. Fab Melo leads the team in blocks with 2.6 a game.

NC State is outscoring opponents 76-71 this season. The Wolfpack are shooting 46.7% from the field, including 33.6% from 3 point range. North Carolina St makes 70.8% of their free throws. The Wolfpack average 38.4 rebounds a game and have a rebounding margin of +6.1. NC State averages 15.9 assists, 13.7 points, 7.1 steals, and 4.9 blocks a game. Wolfpack opponents are shooting 42.2% from the field including 39.8% from 3 point range. NC State forces 13.1 turnovers a game.

NC State forward C.J. Leslie averages 12.8 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1.5 steals, and 2.2 blocks a game. He leads the team in scoring and blocks. Scott Wood averages 12.5 points, and 1 assist a game. Wood is shooting 56.8% from 3 point range. Lorenzo Brown averages 12.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 2.8 steals a game. Brown leads the team in assists and steals. C.J. Williams averages 12 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.2 steals a game. Richard Howell averages 11.9 points, 8.3 rebounds to lead the team, and 1.6 assists a game. DeShawn Painter averages 9.8 points, and 6 rebounds.

NC State is 3-4 against the spread and the total is 5-2 this year. Syracuse is 6-3 ATS and the total is 3-5-1 this season. Syracuse is 4-0 ATS in Saturday games, 4-1 as a road favorite of 7-12.5 points, on the road, after a straight up win of 20 points or more, and in road games against teams with winning home records, 18-5 in road games after 3 or more consecutive home games, 10-3 as a road favorite, 8-3 in non-conference games, and 11-5 overall. The Wolfpack are 6-16-1 ATS overall, 5-16 as an underdog, 4-15 against teams with winning records, 1-6 as a home underdog, 0-4-1 in Saturday games, 0-4 at home, and after a straight-up win.

Syracuse is obviously one of the most talented teams in the nation, but NC State is a very deep team that can challenge them. I like Syracuse to pull a tough hard-fought victory on the road.

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