How Syracuse Can Beat Duke In Sweet 16
The NCAA Tournament has been nothing short of insane. We've had a #16 seed upset a #1, two #13's upset #4's, and for the eighth consecutive year, a team that's played in the First Four tournament games into the sweet sixteen.
Syracuse defeated Arizona State in their First Four matchup before continuing their run against #6 seed TCU and shocking #3 Michigan State and Tom Izzo.
With the sweet sixteen on the horizon, Syracuse faces a Duke team that has already beat them this season at Cameron Indoor.
But can Syracuse pull off another upset to continue their run in the tournament?
If so, they'll have to re-cycle the game plan from their win over Michigan State.
Syracuse needs to keep playing these ugly games. The uglier the game, the better chance the Orange have of remaining in the game. Defense has been key, and with the lack of scoring all season long from Syracuse, they will need to cause havoc with their 2-3 zone.
Against Michigan State, Syracuse held the Spartans to 25.8% shooting; their second worst performance in the past 20 seasons (24.1% vs Illinois in 2012). The 53 points that Syracuse held Michigan State to were also the 3rd fewest under Tom Izzo.
Syracuse's keys to beating Duke:
- 2-3 Zone Causing Turnovers/Scoreless Runs
- Keep Game Ugly
- High Free-Throw %
The 2-3 zone has added another element. Whatever tweak Jim Boeheim made going into the tournament has worked tremendously. If they keep up this quality defense, it can make up for their lack of scoring and possibly lead to another upset in this years tournament.