The Ohio State Buckeyes and the Syracuse Orange analysis starts right here at Cappers Info, and we are taking a look at these two teams and which side has the edge when push comes to shove. Don’t miss out on our Elite 8 picks for this clash!
Elite 8 Matchup: #2 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. #1 Syracuse Orange
Date: Saturday, March 24th, 7:00 ET
Location: TD Garden, Boston, MA
Elite 8 Odds: Ohio State -3
NCAA Tournament TV Schedule: CBS
The first No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament was bounced on Thursday when the Michigan State Spartans were knocked off. Then, the North Carolina Tar Heels faced a major challenge. In the end, with just eight teams remaining, it looks as though Syracuse, in spite of the fact that it hasn’t had Fab Melo for the entire NCAA Tournament, might really be one of the teams to beat when push comes to shove in this tourney. That being said, the road to get here has been relatively easy. Not only did the ‘Cuse get to take on a No. 16 seed in UNC Asheville, but it also drew the Kansas State Wildcats without Jamar Samuels, and it had to really survive to take down the Wisconsin Badgers in a game that really could have gone the other way in the Sweet 16.
Alas, this is clearly the toughest task for both of these teams. The Buckeyes have already disposed of one Big East team in the Cincinnati Bearcats in the Sweet 16, and they are probably going to be using a very similar strategy that was used to take down their former arch rivals in UC for this game. However, Syracuse is really going to have to mix things up for its second straight game against a team from the Big Ten.
The big question in this one is whether or not the Buckeyes’ big men are going to be stopped. They were both outrageous against an undersized Cincinnati outfit, as Jared Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas combined for 49 points when the day was said and done with. Now, they have to be licking their chops about going against this Syracuse team without Melo out there, though it is going to take a superior game for Aaron Craft and William Buford, not just as shooters, but as distributors as well against a team that is clearly an athletic machine even though its big man isn’t on the court.
We just really don’t like the way that the Orange have played without Melo. Not only did the team lose to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish earlier this year without Melo, but it really hasn’t had a game of late that makes us think that it really is a contender for the whole enchilada. It’s a scary proposition for sure to be laying points against a team that has lost just twice on the season, but we do think that this is the end of the road for the ‘Cuse. They just haven’t gotten the contributions needed out of the likes of Kris Joseph, and if he and the rest of the senior leadership on this team don’t step up, the time will be here for the Orange to bow out of the dance and return to the Empire State.
Elite 8 Free Pick: Ohio State Buckeyes -3
Ohio State vs. Syracuse Projected Final Score: Ohio State 70 – Syracuse 63