SYRACUSE ORANGE (23-7)
at GEORGETOWN HOYAS (23-5)
Verizon Center – Washington, D.C.
Tip-off: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET
Line: Georgetown -1.5, Total: 121
Two long-time rivals meet for the final time in the regular season as Big East foes when No. 17 Syracuse visits the Verizon Center looking to give No. 5 Georgetown its second consecutive loss.
Before losing to Villanova this week, the Hoyas had won 11 in a row SU (9-1-1 ATS). That included a 57-46 drubbing against the Orange, in which Syracuse was favored by eight points at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse is coming off a thumping of DePaul, winning SU and ATS, snapping a three-game skid of ATS and SU losses. Although Georgetown is 4-1 ATS in its past five meetings against Syracuse, the Orange have a knack for winning in the nation's capital, where they are 3-1 ATS in their past four trips. But the Hoyas are 15-1 SU (6-6 ATS) at home this season and 13-4 SU (12-4-1 ATS) in Big East play. Syracuse is just 5-4 SU (4-5 ATS) on the road, but appeared to get their groove back in their last game against DePaul and are 11-8 ATS coming off an SU win this season.
Who will win this classic rivalry game on Saturday? For the answer, connect to College Basketball Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. StatFox Gary remains hot with a 61% ATS mark (11-7) since Feb. 27 to improve to 54.4% ATS (98-82-4) for college basketball Best Bets this season. StatFox Dave is 55% ATS (11-9) since Feb. 28, and is now 52% ATS (157-148-5) for the season.
The Orange shot a pitiful 17-of-50 (34%) against the Hoyas in their first meeting. PG Michael Carter-Williams (12.4 PPG, 7.8 APG) went just 2-of-6 from the field in that game, scoring just seven points and adding five dimes. SF C.J. Fair (14.6 PPG, 7.3 RPG) led the Orange with 13 points against the Hoyas and has been hot lately, averaging 18.3 PPG in his past three contests. PF James Southerland (14.1 PPG), Jim Boeheim’s super-sub, added 13 points in the game and is coming off a 22-point, 10-rebound performance against DePaul. He is also a dangerous shooter, hitting 2.4 threes per game. SG Brandon Triche (14.3 PPG) is Syracuse’s other top scorer, though he must improve off his 4-of-13 performance when Georgetown lost to the Orange.
Otto Porter (16.6 PPG, 7.4 RPG), a National Player of the Year hopeful, carried the Hoyas past Syracuse, dropping 33 points on 12-of-19 shooting, including 5-of-10 from deep. He also added eight boards and five steals and was the only Hoyas player to make it into double-digits for the game. He has continued to be red-hot, averaging 25.0 PPG in his past four contests. The 6-foot-8 forward is hitting 44.4% of his threes this year and 50.3% of his field goals. The other key Georgetown player to watch out for is guard Markel Starks (12.2 PPG, 2.8 APG), who is also a threat to stretch the Syracuse 2-3 zone, hitting 41% threes this year. He and PF Nate Lubick (7.6 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 3.0 APG) lead Georgetown’s ball distribution. Lubick went just 2-of-7 from the field in that first meeting but has been efficient since then, hitting 8-of-11 FG in the past three games.