Beat writers predict a tight game in the 60s between Syracuse and TCU

first_img Published on March 15, 2018 at 12:00 pm Syracuse (21-13, 8-10 Atlantic Coast) snuck past an offensive-minded team in the First Four with its 60-56 victory over Arizona State. The Orange will face another offensively-inclined squad on Friday in Detroit when six-seed TCU (21-11, 9-9 Big 12) plays 11-seed SU. The winner probably gets a date with three-seed Michigan State on Sunday.Here’s what our beat writers think will happen.Matthew Gutierrez (27-7)Three-horned monsterSyracuse 65, TCU 64The Horned Frogs, who won the NIT last season, are in the Big Dance for the first time since 1998. The last time they won an NCAA Tournament game was 1987, when head coach Jamie Dixon was the team’s starting point guard. They are 0-4 all-time against the Orange, which grinded-out a fairly impressive win over a once-highly-ranked Arizona State team that beat Kansas earlier this season. As Frank Howard gains back his strength after battling strep throat, look for Syracuse to notch a win over TCU and move just one game away from the Sweet Sixteen.MORE COVERAGE: AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse men’s basketball opponent preview: What to know about No. 6 seed TCU10 fun facts you need to know about TCU Sam Fortier (24-10)Hello Darkness, Jim’s old friendTCU 68, Syracuse 60When Jamie Dixon left Pitt for TCU two years ago, Jim Boeheim was the happiest man in the ACC. In Dixon’s 13 seasons with the Panthers, he went 15-6 against the Orange — it would’ve been 16-5 if not for Tyler Ennis — and in his last campaign there he beat Syracuse three times. Essentially: Dixon sons Boeheim. Though TCU doesn’t have the same long, athletic, seemingly positionless army Pitt once had, and though Dixon doesn’t have nearly the Tournament experience Boeheim does, Syracuse’s head coach already hedged expectations for his team’s short bench on a quick turnaround. Boeheim’s words and Dixon’s actions overwhelmingly point to the Horned Frogs.Tomer Langer (24-10)LeapfrogTCU 68, Syracuse 61The Horned Frogs, just like ASU, come in with favorable offensive metrics on Kenpom.com. For the most part, Syracuse stymied the Sun Devils, as it does with most teams that are seeing its zone for the first time. There are a few differences in this game though. The first is that the Horned Frogs have a more balanced scoring attack and don’t just rely on their guards shooting 3s. The second is that TCU has more size and is a better 3-point shooting team. And, most importantly, TCU has head coach Jamie Dixon, who was 15-6 against Syracuse as the head coach of Pitt. Dixon’s teams have always done well against the SU zone, and I don’t expect that to change on Friday. Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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