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No. 4 Seeds Set To Do Battle As Syracuse, Michigan Clash

Posted by Jay Nelson on 4/2/2013 9:27:41 PM

The Michigan Wolverines have finally lived up to their potential in this year’s March Madness tournament. Now they are on to their first Final Four in 20 years. The Wolverines have come together and rallied as a team in the tournament, exceeding expectations after struggling towards the end of their Big Ten season. Next up is a date with another No. 4 seed in the Syracuse Orange, a team few online sports betting fans even thought would be here this late. The Orange are another team that has rallied to play much better basketball and reach its potential in the tournament, and that should set up an intriguing Final Four.

Final Four at Atlanta
#4 Syracuse Orange vs. #4 Michigan Wolverines
Saturday April 6, 2013 – 8:49 PM ET
Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
Final Four Sports Betting Line: Michigan – 2.5

Syracuse upsetting Marquette in the Elite Eight was no more of a shocker than the Orange getting to that stage in the first place, and their defense is a major reason why they are there. Syracuse is one of the only teams in the tournament to employ the 2-3 zone at all, and they have nearly perfected it while using it nearly 100-percent of the time.

Final Four Betting Preview: Syracuse

That 2-3 zone defense held the Golden Eagles to 22.6-percent shooting and forced 13 turnovers, and the fact that the Orange held Marquette to its fewest points in a game this season is testament to how strong it is. Syracuse managed to win that Elite Eight game despite shooting just 38-percent, with James Southerland leading in the scoring department with 16 points on 6-for-13 shooting. The Orange will face their toughest test so far against a very dangerous Michigan offense, and it could come down to their ability to keep up at the other end if the Wolverines start finding ways to score.

Final Four Betting Preview: Michigan

Michigan showed off its incredible scoring touch versus Florida in the Elite Eight, including an outstanding performance from Nik Stauskas, who was 5-for-5 from three-point range in the first two quarters and 6-for-6 from the field at the half. Stauskas finished with 22 points and missed just one shot the entire game, while Trey Burke and company continued to fill the holes around them. Florida’s defense had held opponents to 37.9-percenet shooting from the field this season, but couldn’t slow down a Michigan team that made 47.5-percent of its shots, including half of its three-pointers.

Final Four Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

Those kind of online sports betting numbers are absolutely impressive, and it’s hard to imagine Syracuse slowing the Wolverines down after the Gators couldn’t. The Orange are lucky to have gotten this far without a consistent enough offense, and it will cost them against a very talented Michigan team that deserves to be in the championship game.

Final Four Betting Pick: Michigan Wolverines


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