Tuesday Big East Basketball Picks: Seton Hall at Syracuse

Seton Hall Pirates at Syracuse Orange, Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY
Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN3
Opening Line: Syracuse -14
Current Line: Syracuse -13
Opening Total: 133.5
Current Total: 134.5
Money Line: Syracuse -1100 / Seton Hall +750

Syracuse Seton Hall College Basketball Preview
Seton Hall's Jeremy Hazell missed the first meeting with Syracuse due to a broken wrist

The ninth-ranked Syracuse Orange (18-2, 5-2 Big East) will look to bounce back from consecutive losses to Top 10 opponents on Tuesday when they host the Seton Hall Pirates (8-12, 2-6) at the Carrier Dome.  The Orange (-13) suffered their first loss of the season at #2 Pittsburgh (74-66) last Monday and followed that up with a disappointing setback against #8 Villanova (83-72) at the Dome on Saturday before a near-record crowd of 33,736 fans.

Syracuse will not have nearly that same amount of support against a Seton Hall team that hung tough in a 61-56 home loss back on January 8 despite playing without leading scorer Jeremy Hazell, who has since returned from a broken wrist and gunshot wound.  Hazell has struggled with his shooting during a three-game losing streak that followed a 78-67 win at DePaul in his return.  He scored 23 points against the Blue Demons but has shot just 28 percent from the field since then.

The Pirates have dropped their last two at home to Rutgers (66-60) and Georgetown (80-75) following a 74-53 loss at Pitt and have failed to cover each of those games.  Hazell made only 6 of 21 shots against the Scarlet Knights on Saturday, including 2 of 11 from 3-point range.   As a team, Seton Hall shot just 34 percent from the field (23 of 68) and 22 percent (6 of 27) from beyond the arc.

That is good news for an Orange team that saw their vaunted 2-3 zone defense get attacked form the outside by the Wildcats, who made eight 3-pointers in the first half en route to a 40-29 halftime lead.   Villanova also got Syracuse into foul trouble and ended up making 10 more free throws (22) than the home team attempted (12).

However, leading scorer Kris Joseph made a big impact for the Orange in his return after hitting his head on the floor in a 67-52 rout of Cincinnati on January 15.  Joseph missed the loss to the Panthers but scored a game-high 23 points against the Wildcats, making more 3-pointers (four) than free throws (three).  Rick Jackson added 16 points and a game-high 15 rebounds while Brandon Triche scored 14, but no other Syracuse player finished in double figures in either category.

The Pirates are 1-4 against the spread in the last five meetings with the Orange, failing to cover the previous four games before the most recent one.  The UNDER has cashed in the last two meetings along with five of the past seven.  The UNDER is also 8-2 in Seton Hall’s last 10 games overall.

Now that you have read this college basketball betting preview featuring Syracuse & Seton Hall, check out the NCAA basketball odds on this and all the games to compare the best lines at multiple sportsbooks.

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