Cincinnati Bearcats vs Syracuse Orange
When: Monday, Jan. 21, 3:30 p.m.
Where: Carrier Dome
The college basketball season took off in full bloom on Saturday. With buzzer beaters and defensive stops littering the landscape, Syracuse and Cincinnati both had fortunate breaks to come away with tough Big East victories. Cincinnati beat Marquette by two in an overtime thriller, while Syracuse outlasted Louisville by two as well. The wins over the weekend set up another tremendous showdown between the Orange and the Bearcats.
Leading scorer, Sean Kilpatrick exploded for 36 points and the game winning layup against Marquette. His shooting ability from deep will be tested against the Syracuse 2-3 zone. Without Cashmere Wright, the Bearcats only had one other player in double figures.
The Cincinnati defense works tremendously hard, and they finish off possessions with great rebounding. They lead the country in total rebounding, so Syracuse needs to cultivate great possessions. The Bearcats block a lot of shots, and it will be hotly contested play inside.
Both teams like to attack the rim offensively, but wild shots won’t get it done. The team that moves the ball will be able to find good shots.
With the physical play, there may be a lot of fouls called. Neither team is a great overall foul shooting squad.
Syracuse was able to beat Louisville despite committing 15 turnovers against Louisville, but they were able to curtail the mistakes in the second half. Cincinnati is another quick defensive team that can cause problems for the Orange ball handlers.
Brandon Triche really came out strong against the Cardinals, and finished with 23 points. The splendid play of Jerami Grant will be needed once again in the absence of James Southerland. Grant played 35 minutes on Saturday.
Michael Carter-Williams had major trouble against the Louisville pressure, but came through with big plays down the stretch. He finished the game with eight turnovers and seven assists, but the defensive tenacity helped the Orange pull through in the waning moments.
Syracuse’s zone will display a lot of size, and they will try to force Cincinnati into tough shots. Last year, the Bearcats were successful against the Orange’s zone, and beat them in the Big East tournament by three.
Syracuse must show consistency after a winning a big game. Cincinnati must also come off the high of winning a barnburner. If Cashmere Wright can’t play, the Bearcat offense could get bogged down against the lengthy Syracuse defense. In similar fashion to both games last season, this will be a highly energized contest.
If you liked this article please follow the Twitter page for more updates.