Syracuse Orange (24-1 SU, 14-6 ATS) vs. Georgetown Hoyas (18-5 SU, 11-8 ATS), 7:00 p.m. EST, Thursday, February 18, 2010, Verizon Center, Washington, D.C. TV: ESPN
by Ryno of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Syracuse +1.5/Georgetown -1.5
It isn’t too often that two top-10 teams face off in the regular season, but this will be one of those times on Thursday night at the Verizon Center, as the Georgetown Hoyas host the Syracuse Orange. Syracuse is competing for a Big East title and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, while Georgetown is trying to get a double-bye in the Big East tournament by finishing in the top four in the conference.
Syracuse is coming off a surprising home loss to Louisville on Sunday after winning 11 games in a row. The only other loss this season for the Orange was a home loss to Pitt on January 2. Syracuse is the only team left in the country that is yet to lose a road game this season. The Orange have won at Seton Hall, Rutgers, West Virginia, Notre Dame, DePaul and Cincinnati. Three of the six road wins have come by double digits, with two of the wins coming by a point at West Virginia and two points at DePaul.
Syracuse is 8-1 ATS on the road this season and 2-0 ATS as an underdog. Georgetown is 6-5 ATS at home and 9-5 ATS as a favorite.
In the 66-60 home loss to Louisville on Sunday, Wesley Johnson led the Orange with a game-high 14 points, but it came on 5-for-20 shooting from the field. That is not very good shooting at all. The rest of the team other than Johnson shot 50 percent from the field. Including Johnson, the Orange shot 41 percent from the field and 5-for-19 on 3-pointers. Arinze Onuaku and Andy Rautins each scored 12 points, and Kris Joseph added 10 points. Syracuse held Louisville to 43 percent shooting from the field and 9-for-30 from beyond the arc.
Just like Syracuse, Georgetown is also coming off a loss. And again just like Syracuse, it was a loss the Hoyas certainly didn’t expect. They lost at Rutgers, 71-68, in a game that the Hoyas trailed for almost the whole game. They took the lead briefly in the second half but the Scarlet Knights quickly regained the lead and hit the big shots down the stretch to pull off the home upset. Since starting off the season 8-0, the Hoyas haven’t been able to win more than three games in a row. They seem to show up for the big games but let down against some of the mediocre teams. They have four losses to unranked opponents this season (two of which came at home) – Old Dominion, Marquette, South Florida and Rutgers – and five wins over ranked opponents (three of which were ranked in the top 10 at the time) – Butler, Washington, UConn, Pitt, Duke and Villanova.
In their 71-68 loss at Rutgers on Sunday, Greg Monroe played all 40 minutes and had 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Austin Freeman scored 17 points, and Hollis Thompson added 10 points off the bench. The Hoyas shot 51 percent from the field and 4-for-13 on 3-pointers. They committed 14 turnovers and only forced eight turnovers. They allowed Rutgers to shoot 45 percent from the field and 7-for-18 on 3-pointers. The Hoyas shut down Rutgers star Mike Rosario, who only shot 3-for-16 from the field and 2-for-10 from beyond the arc, but they allowed the rest of the Scarlet Knights to shoot 55 percent from the field and make 63 percent of their 3-point attempts.
Last time these teams met, Syracuse won the game at home on January 25, 73-56. The Orange shot 53 percent from the field and 4-for-11 on 3-pointers, while Georgetown shot 43 percent from the field and 8-for-21 on 3-pointers. Georgetown committed 19 turnovers. The Orange got to the free throw line 28 times, as compared to 11 free throw attempts for the Hoyas. Monroe only had eight points, while Freeman led all scorers with 23 points. Joseph and Rautins each had 15 points for the Orange, and Johnson added 14. Syracuse was the tougher, more aggressive team. Monroe was in foul trouble all night and the Orange took advantage with easy baskets inside. Their zone defense forced Georgetown to settle for a lot of outside jumpers, and the turnovers didn’t help either.
Syracuse is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games following an ATS loss, 15-6 ATS in its last 21 Big East games, and 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games as a road underdog. The Hoyas are 4-0 ATS in their last four games following an ATS loss, 4-1 ATS in their last five home games, and 9-22 ATS in their last 31 Big East games. The under is 4-1 in the last five meetings between these teams at Georgetown. The home team is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings, while Syracuse is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings.
Ryno’s Pick: Georgetown gets revenge today in what has recently been a home and home series (home team getting the win). Take the Hoyas to cover the spread.