"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Marquette vs Syracuse for the Sweet Sixteen

I don't have a very high level of optimism for the game against Syracuse. Flat out, Marquette got lucky in their first matchup (not that there's anything wrong with that). MU caught Syracuse during a four game slump and played them at home. Jae Crowder had his last blowup game (in January) with 25 points, and MU hit several shot-clock beating threes down the stretch. Syracuse shot an eFG% of 63% and appeared on the verge of collapse at the end... but still Marquette won.

Of course, I didn't have a very high level of optimism for the Xavier game either, so what the hell do I know? If nothing else, Marquette won their first game on Friday and has a chance to make the Sweet Sixteen.

How did Marquette beat Syracuse last time? To start with, the team shot well (eFG% of 59%). Turnovers were sloppy, and although Marquette had a slight OR% advantage, this game was really won on FTR. Although it's practically insignificant, when everything else that matters is equal, a FTR advantage of 75% to 29% made the difference.

MU shot well against Xavier (59%), but was very, very sloppy with the ball (24%). That turnover number needs to tighten up against Syracuse, especially because forcing turnovers is one of the few things the Cuse do not do especially well. The other area is defensive rebounding, where the Orange are #207. On a neutral court in an NCAA game, can Marquette expect to have a significant FTR advantage?

In other words, MU needs to match pace on shooting well and have a significant advantage in one or two of the other four factors... either by protecting the ball really well or by attacking the offensive glass. Both areas are an opportunity, but Syracuse is a better offensive team and better defensive team.

Having said that, this is the time of year when upsets happen. Maybe years of tough losses finally even themselves out.

Media Links and News

Rosiak talks about how Buzz is a hit on the big stage once again.

GoMarquette.com has a great preview of the game, including the mp3's of the press conference and video highlights. Or you could just read the full transcript. As a bonus, read the Syracuse transcript. The Syracuse players are confident.

Syracuse Pomeroy Scouting Report

1 comment:

Josh said...

they won though...haha