College basketball on Monday night and we will see the Notre dame Fighting Irish travel to the Carrier Dome to take on the Syracuse Orange. The game has a start time of 7:00 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on ESPN. Vegas odds have the Orange listed as 12 point favorites, while the total sits at 131.
Analysis: It has not been a favorable first year in the ACC for the Irish, as they come in at 12-10 overall and 3-6 in league play, while also going 0-5 in true road games this year. The do cme in off a home win over Boston College, but needed OT to get it. Notre Dame has been very good on the offensive end of the floor, shooting 46.1% from the field for 75.3 ppg, but it has been held back by a less- than-stellar scoring defense (70.9 ppg), Garrick Sherman (14.5 ppg) and Eric Atkins (14.3 ppg) lead the team in scoring, while Pat Connaughton (13.5 ppg) is a close 3rd, doing a large majority of his damage from 3-point distance (54-of-140). The Irish have committed nine or fewer turnovers in 11 games, including three times in the last four contests.
Syracuse comes off one of the best games of the year after taking down Duke in a 91-89 OT thriller. The win put them at 21-0 for the year overall and 8-0 within the ACC. Syracuse has been strong on the offensive end of the floor this season, shooting 46.1% from the field for an average of 72.3 ppg. CJ Fair leads the team with 17.2 ppg, while also hauling in 5.9 rpg while Trevor Cooney (13.2 ppg) Jerami Grant (13.0, 7.1 rpg) and Tyler Ennis (12.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.4 spg) round out the DD scorers for the team.The offense has been good, but the defense has been outstanding ranking eighth-best in the country, allowing just 59.3 ppg. The Cuse also have solid margins in the rebounding (+5.9) and turnover (+4.9) departments as well. The Orange have been nearly flawless at home in recent years, going 49-2 at the Carrier Dome since the start of the 2011-12 campaign.
Pick: Im going to look at the under in this one. The Cuse are off monumental game vs Duke and I feel they will be bit flat, which should show up more on the offensive end than the defensive end. The Cuse ran with Duke, but that is not their game. They like to slow it down and play tough defense. The Irish should look to slow it down with their burn offense as they do with many of their big games. The Cuse allow just 57.5 ppg at home and should keep the Iris in the mid 50's at best, while the Cuse put up no more than 70 points of their own. 68-56 sounds about right.
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