No. 2 Duke and No. 11 Syracuse will meet in the Sweet 16 of this year's NCAA Tournament. The Blue Devils will be heavy favorites, but the Orange has already proven it can take down top opponents.
Preview: This Friday, the No. 2 Duke Blue Devils will meet the No. 11 Syracuse Orange in the Sweet 16. Duke is coming off of wins over both Iona and Rhode Island, while Syracuse got past Arizona State, TCU and Michigan State.
Duke's win over Rhode Island saw five different players - Grayson Allen, Marvin Bagley III, Wendell Carter Jr., Trevon Duval and Gary Trent Jr. - finish in double figures. The Blue Devils dominated the contest from start to finish, shooting 57% along the way.
Syracuse, meanwhile, won one of the ugliest games in NCAA Tournament history Sunday against Michigan State. The Orange won despite shooting 36%, being out-rebounded by 21 and dealing with foul trouble the entire second half. Michigan State, one of the most efficient offensive teams in the country, shot just 26% against Syracuse's 2-3 zone.
Date: Friday, March 23
Game Time: 9:37 PM ET
Location: CenturyLink Center Omaha, Omaha, NE
Announcers: Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson
Opening Betting Line: Duke by 11.5 via 5Dimes
Prediction: Most matchups in the NCAA Tournament come between teams that haven't seen each other before. That isn't the case here, considering Duke and Syracuse both play in the ACC.
When the two teams met back in late February, Duke cruised to a 60-44 win behind an incredible shooting performance from Bagley.
Syracuse is fully capable of beating anyone in the country - we've learned that again this year. But it doesn't make a ton of sense to pick the Orange, especially since we know that Duke has seen this zone many times before.
We'll take Duke to win by seven.