(24-2, 15-7 ATS)
(18-6, 11-9 ATS)
It’ll be a clash of the titans on Thursday night in our nation’s capitol, where the Georgetown Hoyas and Syracuse Orange will battle it out for Big East supremacy. Both teams are coming off of shocking defeats on Sunday in what probably proved to be look-ahead games for each. The Orange were knocked off at the Carrier Dome 66-60 by Louisville, while the Hoyas were bounced by Rutgers 71-68 that same day. The ‘Cuse took Round 1 of this heavyweight fight at home with a 73-56 win back on January 25th.
When Syracuse’s offense is kicking, there aren’t many teams in the country that can stop it. The Orange are putting up 80.8 points per game and shooting 52.2% from the floor on the season. They put up a dismal effort in both categories against Louisville (60 points, 41.4% shooting). The normally reliable G Wesley Johnson shot just 5/20 from the floor in the defeat. Johnson is shooting 51.5% for the season and scoring 16.0 points per game, but HC Jim Boeheim has to be concerned about his recent drought; he’s averaging just 10.0 PPG in his L/4. If Johnson isn’t at his best though, there are a host of other men clad in blue, orange, and white that can get the job done, which is why this team has only been beaten twice all season.
It’s how they beat Duke and how they beat Villanova, and if they Hoyas are going to beat the Orange, the trio of G Chris Wright, C Greg Monroe, and G Austin Freeman must come up with monster efforts. In those two games combined, the triumvirate scored a total of a whopping 130 points. That 65.5 PPG is well ahead of their normal clip of 46.5 PPG. Monroe is one of the most versatile big men in the league, as he is averaging 15.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, and even 3.7 assists per game. There just isn’t a solid one-on-one matchup for him anywhere else in the Big East, save perhaps Notre Dame’s Luke Harangody. Scoring with the Orange shouldn’t be an issue, as the Hoyas are putting up 73.8 points per game themselves, and they’ve already dropped 89 on Duke and 103 on Villanova in the L/3 weeks.
History is on the side of the Hoyas in this one. Take a look at recent the last few sandwich type of games for Georgetown. It lost 72-64 against South Florida in between wins against Duke and Villanova. After beating Providence on the road, it turned around and lost to Rutgers. If that trend continues, the Hoya Destroya should be back and better than ever on Thursday night. Georgetown has to have a sense of urgency right now at 8-5 in conference play. All of a sudden, with a few more losses, this could be a bubble team in a heartbeat. Look for that urgency to be parlayed into a big win, which would hand the Orange their first road loss of these season.
Selection: Georgetown Hoyas
Even though G’Town is just 9-22 ATS in its L/31 games against the Big East and 1-6 ATS in its L/7 against the ‘Cuse, we’re picking it to come up big on Thursday. Diamond Sportsbook has the Hoyas lined at -1.5, and you can join in on the college basketball betting action there right now!