NCAA Tournament Predictions: Duke giving up too much to Syracuse? 3/23/18

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The Syracuse University men's basketball team has surprised some people with three wins in the NCAA Tournament - but on Friday, the No. 11 seed Orange will face an elite caliber team in 2-seed Duke. During Friday night's game, he continued to do so thanks to some otherworldly three-point shooting down the stretch.

As a top seed the last two seasons, Kansas made it through the regional semifinals, only to flop a game shy of the Final Four both times. Though Villanova is eighth in the country in averaging the fewest turnovers per possession, the Wildcats must also deal with the Mountaineers being a stifling team in half-court defense even after the press is broken.

No. 5 seed Clemson (25-9), which plays top-seeded Kansas (29-7) of the Big 12 in the early game Friday, won over New Mexico State before hammering fourth-seeded Auburn by 31 points. Bagley scored 22 to help Duke to the regional final for the 21st time in program history. The sophomore put out an excellent effort in the loss, dropping in 19 points (7-for-15 FG) and five assists. He was three-of-14 from the three but made his only shot from inside the arc.

The Jayhawks previously played Syracuse in December, beating the Orange by 16 on a neutral floor in Miami.

Syracuse improves to 4-3 overall and 2-0 in league action while the Blue Devils fall to 8-2 overall and 0-1 in the ACC. Syracuse kept going inside for points-it got 30 total in the painted area-and though Duke tallied just two blocks, Carter and Bagley were effective in limiting any further damage the Orange might have hoped to inflict. To measure just how many of those each coach has racked up going back to 1985 (the start of the 64-team tournament era), we used our Elo ratings to generate pregame win probabilities for each tournament game.

The Blue Devils odds to win March Madness were +550 to win.

Twice in the first five minutes of the second half, Syracuse missed free throws that would have resulted in three-point plays and a tie score. Bagley led all players with 22 points; his teammate Wendell Carter Jr. led both teams with 12 rebounds and also scored 14 points.

Now the computer has simulated Duke vs. Syracuse 10,000 times.

Brendan Bomberry led the Orange with 4 goals.

Duke never lost the lead, though, and expanded it to as big as nine after back-to-back 3-pointers from Trent Jr. and Allen sandwiched around a Syracuse timeout.

Tyus Battle led the Orange with 19 points.

"And our defense has, we've been good all year", Boeheim said, "but in this tournament, it's amusing, everybody just keeps missing against us; we just must be really lucky. In our zone, we communicate better and if you communicate better, you have a better chance of playing as one".

On the right side of the 2018 NCAA Tournament bracket, there actually hasn't been as much calamity as some might think. "We've got to come out ready from the beginning", Bagley said of Kansas.

The Orange responded with three straight goals to pull back ahead by one.