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Indiana, Fresh From Its Scare Against Temple, Enters The Sweet 16

Posted by Washington Tucker on 3/26/2013 6:38:04 PM

The Indiana Hoosiers almost didn't make it to the Sweet 16, but now that they've survived, they will try to come up with a convincing performance against the Syracuse Orange.

Syracuse Orange vs. Indiana Hoosiers – Thursday, March 28

Betting line: Indiana -5.5

Why Syracuse Will Win

Even mmaHYPERLINK "//www.betonline.com/sports-betting/mma" betting experts know that the biggest reason Syracuse can win is that its length on defense near the rim is bothersome. Syracuse has a lot of long and rangy players - not necessarily beefy or muscular players, but long players - who will make it hard for any Indiana player, especially big man Cody Zeller, to play over the top of coach Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone. Indiana got frustrated this past Sunday by Temple’s active defense. Zeller was not able to score very easily or frequently near the rim, and Syracuse has the pesky kind of defense that can give him problems.

The other thing to point out about Syracuse is that it has a knockdown shooter, James Southerland, who can do to Indiana what Temple failed to do on Sunday. Temple would have beaten Indiana if Scootie Randall had been able to do anything better than go 0 for 12 from the field with four turnovers. If Syracuse can get a great shooting night from Southerland, teammate C.J. Fair will be able to get into the paint via dribble penetration. Any good perimeter shooting from Syracuse will open up Indiana’s defense and make the Hoosiers more vulnerable.

Why Indiana Will Win

No bet on this game should ignore the reality that there is a difference between having height, and having the kind of height that can truly intimidate an opponent. When you look at this specific matchup from the perspective of legal online sports betting, it seems like one that the Hoosiers can deal with on multiple levels. First of all, while Syracuse is long, it is not powerful. Cody Zeller might not be able to play over the top of Syracuse defenders, but he can back them down in the low post and overwhelm them. Zeller is not the strongest low-post player in college football, but against Syracuse, he will not face a matchup in which he is likely to be muscled out of position on the low blocks.

The other key point to realize about this matchup is that Syracuse, a zone team, is vulnerable to Indiana’s zone-busting shooters. Jordan Hulls is a lethal three-point shooter whom Syracuse must be able to defend on Thursday. If Hulls gets any free looks against the 2-3 zone, he will likely knock them down, and that will make it very difficult for the Orange to solve Indiana’s offense. Football betting experts with little college basketball knowledge can still realize that if a zone gets taken down by three-point shooting, a zone team such as Syracuse won't have a leg to stand on. If any of Indiana’s role players hit just one or two threes at any point in time, Syracuse will be scrambling on defense, and this game could become a Hoosier blowout.

Who Will Win

This is going to be a game defined by Indiana's effort level on defense. The Hoosiers will not allow Syracuse to get comfortable on offense, and that means the Orange are in quite a bit of trouble.

College Basketball Betting Pick: Indiana

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