Beat writers split on No. 11 Syracuse upsetting No. 3 Michigan State and playing on to the Sweet 16

first_imgNo. 11 Syracuse (22-13, 8-10 Atlantic Coast) faces off with No. 3 seed Michigan State (30-4, 16-2 Big 10) on Sunday at 2:40 p.m. at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. The Orange most recently smothered TCU, 57-52 and was led by Marek Dolezaj’s 17 points. Michigan State fended off a pesky Bucknell team behind sophomore wing Miles Bridges’ second-half explosion and 29 points.See what our beat writers think of the matchup.Matthew Gutierrez (28-7)So so sweetSyracuse 58, Michigan State 57The arena on Sunday will be packed, mostly of fans in green and white. Stopping Miles Bridges, who scored 29 points Friday night, won’t be easy. MSU has some big bodies inside. But Syracuse’s defense has been as stiff and tough as it’s been all year long. Given how well SU played Friday, even with Tyus Battle and Frank Howard held in check, look out for a Syracuse upset against the Spartans. SU marches on to Omaha.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSam Fortier (24-11)Why not?Syracuse 61, Michigan State 60Jim Boeheim vanquished Jamie Dixon and now Syracuse finds itself in another long-odds situation. This, strangely, seems exactly where the Orange is most comfortable. This team skirted past TCU without its Big 3 firing on all cylinders, which was unlikely, but Syracuse has ignored logic all season. Now, SU has the chance to come back and beat Michigan State after Middle Tennessee State denied SU the opportunity two years ago. It’s too early to compare this postseason run to that one, but if the Orange bullies by the Spartans, those whispers will get louder.Tomer Langer (24-11)ChalkMichigan State 63, Syracuse 59My picks don’t matter anymore. Syracuse has been the underdog in its last two games after narrowly making the NCAA Tournament and won both. On Friday night, No. 1 overall seed Virginia — the team that lost just twice all year, that set the ACC record for wins in a season, that had the best defense in the country — lost to No. 16 seed UMBC, the first time a one seed has lost its first games. Nothing makes sense. Take every pick in this Tournament, from here on out, with a grain of salt. I want to pick Syracuse to win because this team has seemingly taken on a new identity in March. In the end, MSU is by far the toughest of the three opponents it’ll have faced so far in the Tournament, and so I’ll go with the Spartans. Comments Published on March 17, 2018 at 1:16 pm Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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