This very well may be my last college basketball write-up for quite some time. As I get ready to do some traveling, my immediate college hoops handicapping future is up in the air. And while I’ll finish the 2014 portion of the 2014/2015 college hoops season positive, it’ll be nice to at least pick up a couple of units. A win to closes out a 6-3-1 December. And I think we have a winner out in Pennsylvania at the Wells Fargo Center.
We’re two years removed from the highlights of the “old” Big East. But the Syracuse and Villanova rivalry renews on Saturday when the Orange travels to Pennsylvania to take on the ‘Cats. It’s been a few years since Villanova has been the decided favorite in this matchup, but the undefeated #7 ‘Nova holds a commanding grip on this one as 12-point favorites. Villanova returns much of what was a very successful team last year that ended up bowing out to the eventual National Champions in the Round of 32 in what was an upset at the time. And Jay Wright has his team right back where it was last year – sprinting out ahead of the pack with another Big East Championship in its sights.
Meanwhile, Syracuse has stumbled out of the gates with a young team that hasn’t developed a whole lot of camaraderie on the offensive end. Much of that has to do with freshman point guard Kaleb Joseph. SU fans has been spoiled with young point guards the last couple of years. And Joseph hasn’t played poorly, despite coming up short of what both Michael Carter-Williams and Tyler Ennis did in their first seasons as the starting point guard. But this Syracuse team is raw. And I do think that the Orange knows how good it can be when it really matters. It’s a process for Jim Boeheim and his guys. But they also have to pick up some quality wins while they can – especially before the harsh realities of a stacked ACC hits them head-on.
Twelve points? Give me a break. Expect a great effort from the road team tomorrow and to avoid much of a sweat – take the ‘CUSE!
Free Pick: Syracuse +12
2014 CBB: 7-6-1 +1.40