College Basketball on Wednesday and we will see the Providence Friars travel to Syracuse, New York to take on the Syracuse Orangemen. The game is scheduled for a 7:00 pm (Eastern) start time and will be televised on ESPN 2. Currently the Odds for the game have Syracuse favored by 12.5 points while the total sits at 137.
Analysis: Providence has suddenly put itself in contention for a postseason bid with a four-game win streak, its longest in Big East play since 2004. The healthier Friars attempt to beat their third ranked team this month when they travel to Syracuse tonight. Providence was without guards Vincent Council and Kris Dunn for 10 and nine games, respectively, due to injuries, and leading scorer Bryce Cotton missed two close Friars’ losses. Providence must continue its strong defensive play to win at Syracuse for the first time since 1999. The Friars are allowing 55.5 points and 37 percent shooting during their win streak. “Defensively we’ve come a long way. I mean a long way. That’s what’s winning basketball games for us,” coach Ed Cooley told the Providence Journal. “We’ve had complete focus, a complete mindset change that if we guard, we’ll have a chance to win.” The Friars can also put up points. Cotton leads the Big East in scoring (20.4), while Kadeem Batts (14.9) and LaDontae Henton (13.4) have come up big. Council had 11 assists and 11 rebounds in the 71-54 victory over No. 25 Notre Dame on Saturday.
Jim Boeheim's Orange are currently among the top teams in the Big East with a solid 9-3 league ledger. Syracuse has kept pace atop the conference standings with wins in three of the last four games and enters this contest following a 76-65 road win at Seton Hall. The Orange are a perfect 15-0 at home this season and have won 37 straight at the Carrier Dome overall. Brandon Triche netted a career-high 29 points, leading the Orange to a come- from-behind win at Seton Hall this past weekend. Triche, who was 10-of-18 from the floor in the game, got plenty of offensive support, as C.J. Fair poured in 19 points, followed by Michael Carter-Williams and James Southerland, who finished with 14 and 11 points, respectively. The Orange have been at their best when they allow their defensive play to dictate the tempo of the game. Syracuse is allowing just 59.3 ppg on the year (30th nationally), on a mere .371 shooting by the opposition (fifth nationally). Offensively, Syracuse nets a healthy 74.8 ppg, thanks to scoring depth that features four players currently averaging double-figure scoring. Triche leads the way with his 14.9 ppg.
Pick: I will look to the Over in this game. A lot of big east games have been low scoring but I don’t see this one being one of them. Providence has put up 70+ on in their last 2 games vs two petty good defenses (ND and USF) and they average 66 ppg at on the road. Syracuse averages 78.7 ppg at home, while Providence struggles on defense on the road, allowing 68.5 ppg. The Cuse should be good for 75+ while Providence should put up at least 65 in this one.
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