West Region Semifinals @ Salt Lake City, Utah 4 pm PT
(5) Butler vs. (1) Syracuse -6.5 O/U 138.5
Early money on Syracuse as a couple of -7.5’s popped up on Sunday. Butler now getting attention as the line has settled in at -6.5 across the board. Little to no action on the total.
Butler: 21-7 ATS in its last 28 games as an underdog. 3-13 ATS when scoring 69 points or below.
Syracuse: 21-6 ATS when scoring 70 or more. 30-11 ATS in its last 41 games.
Butler: Held a 47-21 free throw attempt advantage over first two tournament opponents.
Syracuse: Sixth nationally in fewest fouls committed per game. Important stat as over 25% of Butler’s point production comes from the charity stripe.
Butler: In five games against Clemson, Georgetown, Ohio State, Minnesota and Xavier the Bulldogs combined to shoot 41% and allowed 49% from the floor.
Syracuse: Lowest steals rate of any team remaining in the tournament.
Butler: The Bulldogs faced a number of teams similar to Syracuse in terms of size and athletic ability though none as stout top to bottom. Georgetown seems to come closest as Butler shot only 31% and was outrebounded 40-26 against the Hoyas.
Syracuse: Marquette is somewhat of a Big East version of Butler – slow pace and a lot of outside shots. The Orange held Marquette to only 16-of-42, 38% from two-point range but the Golden Eagles were 10-of-25 40% from three and got the spread cover in a 76-71 loss. Cornell is also similar with a majority of its offense coming from the three-pointer and free throw line. Syracuse beat the Big Red 88-73 in the Carrier Dome during non-conference play.
Andrew Lange says…
“Butler can’t just sit back and fire three pointers and hope to win. Syracuse will invite teams to take outside shots knowing the percentages then shift heavily in their favor. Butler needs to find holes in the zone and grab a couple transition buckets. Underdogs have to be creative when outclassed athletically.”
Andrew Lange has been one of Sportsmemo's top college basketball producers with a 90-67 +15.60 unit record. You can order Andrew's Rest of March Madness package for $199 right here.