Syracuse @ Louisville (Syr -2, 137.5)
The Pick: Syracuse -2
The Syracuse Orange go on the road to play Rick Pitino’s Louisville team tonight in a classic Big East showdown. The Orange are 25-1 on the year and have been ranked #1 in the nation at times; many believe they have the length, athleticism, amd experience to make a deep tournament run in March. Tonight they face a Louisville team that has won 6 games in a row and has covered in all 6 contests. They pulled off a road win at West Virginia on Saturday as 3-point dogs, so they’re riding a wave of momentum and now they get a chance to come home and play the #1 team in the conference on national television. Normally, in college basketball, I don’t like to go against a home dog in a spot like this, but in this game you have a chance to take a clearly superior team (Syracuse) and only lay 2 points (though it has moved to 2.5 at some places). I think Louisville is going to have serious trouble matching up with Syracuse swingman Kris Joseph, and the suffocating zone defense that Jim Boeheim’s Syracuse teams have become famous for should do what it always does, force the opposing team into long, contested jumpshots. Louisville will want to make this an up-tempo, frenetic game, but the Orange have too much experience to let that happen. They’ll slow it down at every opportunity and get into their offensive sets. I like Syracuse to pull off a tough road win tonight.