Syracuse vs. Pittsburgh -3.5 O/U 133.5
Former Big East conference rivals the Syracuse Orange and the Pittsburgh Panthers meet at 9 am PT in the second round of the ACC tournament. The glory days of the clashes in Madison Square Garden for the Big East tourney are behind us, but this 8 vs. 9 matchup in our nation’s capital has epic potential. The teams are evenly matched statistically, but recently Pittsburgh has been a tough matchup for Syracuse. The Panthers have won the last four in the series and 14 of 20 under head coach Jamie Dixon. The Orange lost both games to Pittsburgh this season by a total of 25 points, mostly because of the second half performance and rebounding margin. In the second half of both games this year, Pittsburgh outscored the Orange 78-55. The Panthers shot 52% in the second half and held the Orange to 36%. Pittsburgh also crushed Syracuse on the boards by a staggering 86-48, while outscoring Syracuse 34-6 in second-chance points. Both teams have struggled down the stretch with the Orange losing four of five, while Pittsburgh has dropped three of its last four. Throwing out the fallacy that it’s tough to beat a conference rival three times in one season, I see Pitt pushing Syracuse around again and recommend a wager on the Panthers.