|04/04/2013 - 2:58pm||this thread has a lot of confidence||
Which is good, for the most part, but taking Syracuse lightly is a mistake. This team was a 1 or 2 seed before the Southerland suspension that derailed their offense. They have a coach that is 9-0 all time against Beilein's teams (WVU ran the same 1-3-1 and Orange offenses NEVER struggled to beat it).
Syracuse has held tourney foes to 15% shooting from 3pt. Yes, Cal and Marquette are severely limited from the arc but IU and Montana are not (don't forget plenty of people thought Montana would get open looks to keep it close or win outright).
Syracuse is a 4-seed that has gotten back to what makes them a good team. The same is happening with Michigan, of course. The key to this game is - without a doubt - exposing the middle of the zone and getting open shots from the elbow or feeding the post from that spot. That's how you beat the Syracuse version of a 2-3. Simply shooting 3's will not cut it, unless Michigan can knock down 15-20 of those.
Boeheim LOVES it when opponents come out and hit their first 3-4 long range attempts - he figures it means players (young players especially) will fall in love with that shot and go back to it far too often. I think Michigan needs to stay calm and execute a gameplan that involves penetration to 15 feet and quick dishes. Hit the open 3 from the corner (there will be plenty of those) instead of launching over MCW and Triche.
If it's a close game in the last 3 minutes, I like Michigan to outplay Syracuse - Burke and Hardaway Jr. are superior decision makers, especially when you look at some stupid decisions Triche can make in tight spots. Free throw shooting will be a factor, and the Orange are terrible there.
Otherwise, if the Wolverines are launching threes and relying solely on Burke to create for himself, it's going to be a very long night. Do not understimate this defense - it is the best this team will face all season, bar none.