Syracuse guard Buddy Boeheim (35) gives a thumbs-up after Syracuse defeated San Diego State 78-62 in a college basketball game in the first round of the NCAA tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Friday, March 19, 2021. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
- West Virginia is a 3.5-point favorite over Syracuse in second-round NCAA Tournament Midwest Region play
- Syracuse guard Buddy Boeheim has scored 88 points combined in the last three games
- The odds, lines and spreads for Syracuse-West Virginia can be found below with a prediction
Two of the winningest coaches in college basketball go head-to-head when West Virginia and Bob Huggins meet Syracuse and Jim Boeheim at 5:15pm ET Sunday in an NCAA Tournament Midwest Region second round game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Huggins notched his 900th career win Friday night as #3 seed West Virginia defeated #14 Morehead State 84-67 as 13-point favorites. The Mountaineers (19-9) won the first time in three games.
#11 Syracuse (17-9) and Boeheim, with his 1,082 victories, knocked off #6 San Diego State 78-62 on Friday as a three-point underdog. The Orange won for the fourth time in their last five games but are 3.5-point underdogs this time.
Syracuse vs West Virginia Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Spread at FanDuel||Total|
|Syracuse||+142||+3.5 (-110)||Over 147.5 (-110)|
|West Virginia||-168||-3.5 (-110)||Under 147.5 (-110)|
Odds taken March 20.
McBride Has Career Night
Sophomore guard Miles McBride scored a game-high 30 points against Morehead State to help give Huggins his 900th career victory. McBride made his first five shots and finished 11-of-17 from the floor while adding six rebounds, six assists and three steals.
“That guy has 900!” – @deucemcb11 😂😂😂#HailWV pic.twitter.com/nyBS0glfiG
— WVU Men’s Basketball (@WVUhoops) March 20, 2021
McBride leads the Mountaineers in scoring at 16.0 points a game and has scored at least 20 in seven games. He also is dishing 4.8 assists and making 1.9 steals a game.
Freshman forward Jalen Bridges came up big in the first round. His 15 points were the second-highest total of his fledgling career and just the sixth time he reached double figures this season.
.@WVUhoops big man Derek Culver gets behind defense for breakaway slam. #HailWV | @NavyFederal pic.twitter.com/1eQ6xw2iq1
— Stadium (@Stadium) January 25, 2021
Junior guard Sean McNeil added 13 points and junior forward Derek Culver finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
West Virginia shot 50.8% (32-of-63) from the field, including 50.0% (9-of-18) on threes. The Mountaineers had six turnovers while forcing Morehead State into 18.
Culver has averages of 14.5 points and 9.7 rebounds while accounting for 29.2% of West Virginia’s possessions.
Senior guard Taz Sherman has a 13.4 scoring average and is an 87% free throw shooter. McNeil is scoring at a 11.9 a game clip.
Syracuse Defense Impenetrable
Junior guard Buddy Boeheim scored 30 points in the first round and Syracuse completely stifled San Diego State, one of the best three-point shooting teams in the country, with its patented 2-3 zone defense. The Orange held the Aztecs 27.5% (11-of-40) from beyond the arc.
⚠️ CAUTION: FLAMMABLE ⚠️
— Syracuse Basketball (@Cuse_MBB) March 20, 2021
San Diego State shot just 35.8% (24-of-67) overall on field goal attempts. Syracuse also held San Diego State without a field goal over the final 9:39 of the first half while taking a 32-18 lead at the break. The Orange stretched the advantage to 56-30 in the second half.
Boeheim continued his hot streak, scoring 88 points in the last three games. The son of Jim made 11-of-15 shots from the field , including 7-of-10 from three-point range.
Buddy Boeheim leads Syracuse with a 17.7 scoring average.
Syracuse won on a night when it got a combined three points from its top two big men and second- and third-leading scorers. Sophomore forward Quincy Guerrier scored three points and junior forward Alan Griffin was shut out.
Joe Girard averaged 50 PPG in HS for a reason 🗣
— Overtime (@overtime) March 20, 2021
Griffin is averaging 14.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocked shots a game while shooting 89.3% from the foul line. Guerrier has averages of 14.0 points and 8.5 rebounds.
Sophomore guard Joseph Girard III helped pick up the slack with 12 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Senior forward Marek Dolezaj added 11 points and five rebounds. He is averaging 10 points and 5.2 rebounds while shooting 55.3% from the floor.
Orange Red Hot
Syracuse has been the winning side against the spread in each of its last five games. Until covering against Morehead State, West Virginia had lost three in a row ATS.
The Orange are peaking at the perfect time of the season and a good bet to beat the Mountaineers, their one-time Big East rival, and advance to the Sweet 16 and take on either #2 Houston or #10 Rutgers.
Pick: Syracuse +3.5 (-110)
John Perrotto has been covering and writing about sports for various outlets for over 40 years. His work has appeared in the likes of USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com, Forbes.com, The Associated Press, Baseball Digest, and more. John is based out of Beaver Falls, PA.