Syracuse vs. Arkansas Picks
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Date/Time: November 30th, 8:30 pm EST
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The Big East/SEC Challenge continues on Friday night from Fayetteville, where the Arkansas Razorbacks will play host to the Syracuse Orange in one of the showcase games of the tournament.
The ‘Cuse are headed for another remarkable season this year, and Head Coach Jim Boeheim should be commended for the way that he just continues to reload this program and never has to rebuild. Kris Joseph, Scoop Jardine, Fab Melo, and Dion Waiters are all gone, but James Southerland, CJ Fair, Brandon Triche, and others are really stepping up to the table to take over as the leaders of this team. Southerland has some real potential at the next level, and he is rounding into a great scorer, averaging 15.2 points per game. Triche has the same scoring line this year, while Fair is averaging 11.0 points and 6.0 boards per night. Second year man G Michael Carter-Williams is averaging 10.2 points, 9.3 assists, and 5.5 boards per game, and he really is the MVP of the club right now as well. Keep an eye on F Rakeem Christmas in this one. He’s the best defensive big man that Boeheim brings to the table this year, and he already has accounted for 10 blocks in four games in spite of the fact that he plays an average of just 22 minutes per night.
The Hogs are going to run, run, and continue to run some more at the Syracuse defense to try to make it so that patented 2-3 zone just can’t get set and lock itself into place. Arkansas ranks in the Top 20 in scoring in the nation, averaging 82.4 points per game. Sure, there have been some easier games against the likes of Longwood and Florida A&M, but these two most recent games against the Arizona State Sun Devils and the Wisconsin Badgers are no joke whatsoever. The Badgers play fantastic defense, yet Arky was still able to account for 70 points in the clash at Orleans Arena in Sin City. Keep a close eye on G BJ Young. He is the catalyst for this offense, and he is a real spark plug. The sophomore averaged 15.3 points per game last year, and he is going to be one of the best pure scorers in America this time around. He is averaging 20.5 points, 3.8 boards, and 3.0 assists per game thus far this year, and he could be in for another big one on Friday night.
We really like Arkansas in this one. This is a tough game for sure, and we don’t know if the Hogs are really going to be able to win it when push comes to shove, but when the number comes out, we fully expect to see the Razorbacks end up staying in front of it. Syracuse 78 – Arkansas 75
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