Big East Title - Louisville vs Syracuse
Considered by many to be the top two teams in the Big East, No. 4 Louisville and No. 5 Syracuse appear to be peaking at the right time. Louisville advanced into the Big East title game with a 69-57 win over No. 6 Notre Dame and Syracuse advanced with a 58-55 win over No. 1 Georgetown.
Louisville is 7-4 SU and 8-2-1 ATS in its last 11 games against Syracuse, but just 1-3 SU and 2-2 ATS over its last four. Louisville will attempt to become the first back-to-back winner of the Big East Tournament since Syracuse did it in 2005 and 2006.
The Cardinals sport records of 28-5 and 19-13-1 ATS heading into this battle, while the Orange have 26-8 and 16-13-1 ATS marks on the season. The OVER/UNDER records are 14-16 for the Cardinals and 13-16 for the Orange.
Power Rankings / Prediction:
According to new college basketball power rankings here, it's the No. 1-ranked Cardinals and the No. 4-rated Orange in this matchup. Computer formulas aimed at predicting NCAAB scores point to a 81-78 win for the Cardinals on Saturday.
How They Match Up:
In the paint, the rebound battle will feature Louisville's No. 50-rated squad against Syracuse's No. 20-rated roster. And in long-range shooting, Louisville rates No. 208 in the country with 5.8 per game, while their foes tonight rank No. 186 nationally with 6 per match.
Defensively, Syracuse features the nation's No. 49-rated defense on the road, allowing 63.8 points per game. Louisville, meanwhile, comes in at No. 73 nationally in scoring at home.
Syracuse was a 58-55 winner in their most recent outing on the road against Georgetown. They covered the 1-point spread as underdogs. The Orange grabbed a 58-55 win over the Hoyas on Friday, behind a 13-point effort from James Southerland at Madison Square Garden.
Louisville was a 69-57 winner in their most recent outing at home against Notre Dame. They covered the 8.5-point spread as favorites. Louisville earned a 69-57 victory over Notre Dame on Friday, getting 20 points from Russ Smith at Madison Square Garden.