What You Need To Know About Syracuse vs. Houston – NCAA Tournament Sweet 16
The 11th-seeded Syracuse Orange take on No. 2 Houston on Saturday night in a Sweet 16 showdown as the NCAA Tournament resumes in Indianapolis.
The two teams meet in the nightcap, the fourth and final contest of the day, set to tip-off at 9:55PM on TBS.
The Orange (18-9) are coming off a so-so regular season, but are playing their best ball of thus far, winners in five of their last six games - paced by the hot hand of Buddy Boeheim. 'Cuse ended the regular season with back-to-back wins over UNC and Clemson before besting NC State for the third time this year. A hard fought loss to the ACC's top-seeded University of Virginia sent Boeheim and company into selection Sunday on the bubble.
The youngest son of Coach Jim Boeheim has been key in the Syracuse surge. Buddy is averaging 28-points per game in his last four contests, shooting 60% (39 of 66) from the field, including an incredible 56% from 3-point range (24 of 43). The 6-6 Junior has been key, pacing the Orange with early buckets in the first two rounds of the tournament, victories of the sixth-seeded San Diego State and third-seeded West Virginia.
The last time Syracuse made the Sweet 16 round, the lost to Duke (2018). The time before that (2016), the Orange ran all the way to the Final Four.
The Houston Cougars enter with a 26-3 record and a No. 2 seed in the East Region. They're ranked No. 6 nationally and finished second in the American Conference, winners of nine-straight.
Houston will likely look to shoot the long ball to beat the Syracuse zone, and the Cougars are no strangers to the 3. They've attempted 47, 3-pointers in the first two rounds of the tournament. Junior Quentin Grimes is averaging 20 PPG in the tourney so far. He averaged 41% from 3-point range this season and has been hot in The Dance - knocking down 9-of-17 three-balls in the last two games. Sophmore Marcus Sasser is the another shooting threat, averaging over 13 PPG this season. Sasser had 14 points in the opening round against Cleveland, but had an awful 1-for-9 performance for just four points in a narrow 63-60 win over Rutgers in his last game.
- GAME - Saturday night, 9:55 on TBS
- FAVORITE - Houston is 6.5 points favorite
- ODDS - Syracuse is 30/1 to win NCAA Tournament, Houston is 9/1 (the third best odds of the 16 remaining teams)
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