Jim Boeheim and the Syracuse Orange clash with the Marquette Golden Eagles for a shot at the Final Four Saturday afternoon at the Verizon Center.
It’s the second straight appearance for the Orange in the Elite Eight, and both schools have the chance to make their first Final Four since 2003.
The Big East titans clashed once this season, with Marquette coming out on top 74-71 back on Feb. 25, and the Eagles have gone 3-1 in their last four meetings against Syracuse since 2011.
Head coach Buzz Williams and Marquette eliminated the Orange in the Round of 32 back in 2011, but will have to break a Syracuse suffocating 2-3 zone that crippled Indiana in the Sweet 16 on Thursday.
The fourth seeded Orange held Indiana to a season low in points in their 61-50 victory, and Michael Carter-Williams played inspire basketball with 24 points, five rebounds, and four steals.
In the process of shutting down one of the nation’s most talented offenses, Syracuse held the Hoosiers to 33 percent shooting, and forced 18 turnovers, with forward James Southerland recording a game-high three blocks, along with five points and seven rebounds.
Marquette’s defense looked just as strong, holding Miami to 19 first half points in 71-61 win. The Eagles backcourt was instrumental in the win, with guard Vander Blue pumping in 14 points on an efficient 7-for-12 shooting, and Trent Lockett ripping down 11 rebounds along with eight points.
Providing a devastating punch of the bench, forward Jamil Wilson had 16 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks, while Davante Gardner tallied 14 points.
The game tips-off at 4:30 p.m. Eastern and will be broadcast by CBS, or you want watch a free live online stream at NCAA March Madness here.
Betting Odds: Syracuse is favored by 4.5 points
Over/Under: 128 points
Prediction: Williams has a plan around the 2-3 zone, as evidenced by Marquette’s recent success againts Boeheim, but Syracuse looks primed for a return to the Final Four. The Orange will need another big game from Carter-Williams, and have to contain the streaky Blue throughout. Syracuse will move on with a late second half surge.
Predicted Score: Syracuse 59, Marquette 54
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