No. 12 California pulled off an upset over No. 5 UNLV in their opening game of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, and next they'll take on No. 4 Syracuse in March Madness action on Saturday.
California was a 4-point underdog against UNLV in their Round of 64 contest, but won 64-61 to advance to Saturday's Round of 32 action. The Golden Bears will take on Syracuse in San Jose, with the Orange coming off a victory over No. 13 Montana on Thursday.
The Golden Bears will look to vanquish their hosts on Saturday, as they are 13-15-2 ATS versus the spread this season, while the Orange are 17-14-1 ATS. California is 10-19 against the total, while Syracuse is 14-17 versus the number.
Power Rankings / Prediction:
The power rankings show a disparity between these teams, with the Orange rated this week at No. 5 and the Golden Bears sitting at No. 61. It may or may not play a role in Odds Shark score prediction modelling that produced a 78-69 result in favor of the Orange.
How They Match Up:
When it comes to rebounds, the visiting Golden Bears rank No. 56 in NCAA Division 1 with 37.3 per game. That compares with Syracuse’s No. 18 ranking in that category. The story is different when it comes to three-point shooting where Syracuse is college basketball's No. 180-ranked team at 6 per game, while the Golden Bears rate No. 337 with 4.1 per game.
Defensively, California features the nation's No. 87-rated defense on the road, allowing 66.1 points per game. Syracuse, meanwhile, comes in at No. 59 nationally in scoring at home.
California was a 64-61 winner in its last match on the road against UNLV. They covered the 3.5-point spread as underdogs. Allen Crabbe scored 19 points leading the Golden Bears to a 64-61 victory over UNLV at HP Pavilion on Thursday.
Syracuse won its last outing, an 81-34 result against Montana on March 21. They covered in that game as a 13-point favorite. The battle between the Orange and Grizzlies didn’t turn out to be much of a battle at all as Montana was handed an 81-34 defeat on Thursday at HP Pavilion.
A few Golden Bears at Orange trends to consider:
Syracuse is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games