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Syracuse vs. Villanova

Betting Line: Villanova -4

Big East Basketball Analysis

2/21/11

How did everyone do with the Bracket Buster games Saturday? Hopefully a winning day for everyone. If you have been using our score predictions, you should have found some nice spots to step in. We go from quite a few potential plays on Saturday to a very sparse card on Monday.
 

But there is one game worth talking about that our model suggests may be worth a closer look and that's Syracuse visiting Villanova tonight at 7 pm est. in Philly.
 

Neither of these teams will be winning the Big East regular season crown so any conference damage either team does will have to be in the Big East tournament where both of these teams are capable of taking it. Both have 9 Big East wins. Syracuse is 22-6 on the year while Villanova is 21-6.
 

You could certainly make the argument that Villanova has had the more consistent season despite almost identical win loss records. Their longest losing streak was just two games and many of their 6 losses were very close. Syracuse on the other hand suffered a 4 game losing streak and lost 6 of 8 games before winning their last two. But in their last game they beat Rutgers by just 4. A team they should have put away easily.
 

You'd have to be a tad leery of Syracuse based on recent play. Perhaps the single most important element in handicapping college hoops come tournament time is how a team is playing RIGHT NOW, not how they were playing in November and December.
 

That being said, our model likes Syracuse straight up here and it's a situation where our model has been on fire all year, picking a short priced underdog to win straight up. Here we have some added incentive in the form of revenge as Villanova was one of the teams to beat Syracuse during that 4 game losing streak, in the Carrier Dome. Payback can be sweet in college hoops and what better way to get the team on track heading down the stretch than to right one of their wrongs from the past?
 

The last 3 Villanova home games were a 3 point loss, a 5 point win and another 3 point loss. This one figures to follow suit. The current number on this game is Villanova -4 so we'll go ahead and grab the two buckets here with the Orange in what will likely be a buzzer beater type finish.
 

Predicted Score Syracuse 67 Villanova 66

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