Wisconsin vs. Syracuse Sweet 16 Picks & Predictions 3/22/12

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The Wisconsin Badgers 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 Sweet 16 picks for this clash!

Sweet 16 Matchup: #4 Wisconsin Badgers vs. #1 Syracuse Orange
Date: Thursday, March 22nd, 7:15 ET
Location: TD Garden, Boston, MA
Sweet 16 Odds: Syracuse -3.5
NCAA Tournament TV Schedule: CBS

It is clear that the Badgers are going to provide the toughest challenge to the top seed in the East Region that they have seen this year. Syracuse is a team that many think is going to be down for the count now that it is running into a team that is mentally and physically tough, though we know that this is still a very talented side.

Wisconsin is traditionally a grinding team that is going to get the job done on the defensive end of the court. This is clearly the best defensive team left in this field, as the squad is allowing just 52.9 points per game. Part of that is because of the pace of the games, but we know that Head Coach Bo Ryan is insistent that all of his defenders are always swarming to try to create empty possessions and bad shots.

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The problem on the other side of the court is that Wisconsin is going to shoot so many three point baskets. We don’t think of Syracuse as a dynamic defensive team, but we have to remember is that clubs only shot 38.3 percent from the floor this year against it. The Orange played great team defense in the dismissal of the Kansas State Wildcats in the second round, as the Cats shot just 31.3 percent from the floor. The Badgers have already tried to jack up 52 three pointers in this tourney, but even if their shots aren’t falling, they are going to have a shot to get on the offensive glass. KSU had 22 offensive rebounds over the weekend, and it is clear that a number like that again versus the Orange is going to see the top seed in the East knocked out.

In the end, the Badgers are one of the many teams from the Big Ten in this tournament that have proven that they are legit. Jordan Taylor, Jared Berggren, and the crew wouldn’t necessarily beat any team in the nation in this spot, but we think that without Fab Melo, this is a bad, bad spot for the Orange. They just aren’t going to be able to hit the boards hard enough to win this game, and the end result is going to be a lot of second chance buckets. Once the Badgers get in front, they aren’t going to let the Orange get back in it.

Sweet 16 Free Pick: Wisconsin Badgers +3.5

Wisconsin vs. Syracuse Projected Final Score: Wisconsin 66 – Syracuse 63

Lou Palumbo is the founder and part owner of the Cappersinfo.com Sports Handicapping Community. He's been writing and posting free picks and sports handicapping strategies on the Cappersinfo forums and website for 15 years now. He enjoys handicapping just as much as he did from the very first day he built the original Cappersinfo website.