Vegas Odds: Syracuse -18
Bet at bodog
Why Vermont will win: Marqus Blakely goes off and Maurice Joseph masters little brother Kris. And a little of that Brennan/Coppenrath/Sorrentine magic from 2005 rubs off on Mike Lonergan’s team.
Catamount to Watch:
Marqus Blakely, F - 17 ppg, 9 rpg, 4 apg
Blakely is one of the most skilled players in America, given his athleticism, offensive capabilities and he’s also a very good defender (three-time America East Defensive Player of the Year). If Vermont can get him going against the Syracuse zone things could get interesting.
Why Syracuse will win: The loss of Arinze Onuaku doesn’t affect them as much as people anticipate; new starter Kris Joseph actually played in upwards of thirty minutes per game this season. And the last time Jim Boeheim was adamant that his team would be OK: he was talking about Wes Johnson in the offseason. Think that turned out well.
Orange to Watch: Rick Jackson, G - 10 ppg, 7 rpg, 2 apg
With Onuaku out more of the load falls upon the shoulders of the underrated post player from Philadelphia. He’s go the muscle to give the Catamounts trouble but his most important jobs will come on defense and on the glass.
How it will go down: Vermont will hang around, likely until halftime. But in front of a largely pro-Syracuse crowd Joseph, Johnson and Andy Rautins will be the difference-makers for Coach Boeheim.
Betting Pick: Syracuse -18
Real Pick: Syracuse