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Saturday's Big East battle

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Elite Eight Betting Preview – The Big East Stands Tall In East Regional
 
It’s fairly safe to say that nobody saw this coming. At least every bracket I’ve seen had Indiana or Miami advancing. In two very unexpected upsets, Marquette capitalized on Miami playing their worst game of the year while Syracuse smothered Indiana with their zone defense to set up a Big East showdown in the Elite Eight.
 
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The Syracuse Orange continue to play at the level they did at mid-season and are deserving -4.0 point favorites in Saturday’s matchup. They not only beat Indiana, the second favorite on the NCAA Championship Futures board, they embarrassed them handedly. Michael Carter-Williams led the charge with 24 points and 6 rebounds. Syracuse is now 2-1 ATS in the tournament.
 
Watching the Orange dominate one of the best teams in the country was a stiff reminder of how good Boeheim’s team actually is.
 
The matchup with the familiar Eagles will be a tough one, especially with Marquette holding a 3-2 SU and 5-0 ATS edge in their last five meetings. Though Marquette won their lone game against Syracuse this year in a 74-71 triumph, it’s very hard to talk yourself out of the Orange considering how strongly they’ve played over the last two weeks.
 
#4 Syracuse Orange (29-9) vs. #3 Marquette Eagles (26-8)
Saturday, March 30th (CBS, 4:30 p.m. ET)

NCAAB Betting Line: Syracuse -4.5 (127.5)
 
Marquette has literally been skimping through the tournament by the skin of their teeth. They escaped a heartbreaking loss against Davidson in the first round, and then outlasted Butler in the final minutes of the third round. I don’t mean to fully discount their performances, but the Eagles have been flat out lucky.
 
Sure, Marquette played pretty good defense on Thursday but Miami literally couldn’t buy a bucket. They also didn’t have their leading rebounder, so second chance points were virtually out of the question. That was easily the worst game Miami has played all season and I’m willing to give Marquette some of the credit. Just not all of it.
 
Syracuse is one of the most complete teams left in the tournament, and while Vander Blue and the Eagles have been stunners during March Madness, I don’t expect them to be so fortunate against Syracuse. Coaching is a big factor in college basketball betting and Jim Boeheim will be able to zone out Vander Blue and disrupt Marquette’s offensive rhythm. Take Syracuse with the points as Marquette runs out of glass slippers at the ball.
 
Elite Eight Betting Pick – Syracuse -4.5

  
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