Who needs to win more this Saturday: Ohio State or Syracuse?
Sports betting experts and college basketball betting experts are preparing to break down the East Regional final between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Syracuse Orange in Boston. This game, between the top two seeds in the East, offers a profile of two programs and coaches who have endured a lot of March Madness hardships over the years. Which team is under more pressure to win this game?
If you want to make a sports bet on this game, you need to pause for a bit and consider the track records of the two coaches involved. Ohio State head coach Thad Matta has never beaten a higher-seeded team in the NCAA tournament. However, on the other side of the divide, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim has never made his way to the Final Four as a number one seed. You need to ask yourself which burden is greater. In all likelihood, you’ll come to the conclusion that since Boeheim has been coaching for more than a third of a century – and since the NCAA tournament has been seeded since 1979 – it’s Syracuse which is under more pressure to win. Simply by historical standards, Syracuse has come up short far more often than Ohio State in the NCAA tournament. The Orange have been a basketball power for the better part of three decades. Ohio State briefly flourished in the early 1990s and again in the late 1990s, but the Buckeyes were not a top-25 team each and every season. They rose and fell every few years, failing to maintain a place at the top of the sport’s pecking order. If you want to compare Matta’s failures and Boeheim’s failures, it’s clear that Boeheim’s failures are more substantial. Syracuse has reached the Elite Eight this year for just the second time since 1996, the other occasion being in the Orange’s 2003 national championship season. On a long-term historical basis, Syracuse needs this win more than Ohio State does.
However, in a more short-term context, it would seem just as obvious that Ohio State needs to bring home this victory in Boston.
Because Syracuse is playing this game without center Fab Melo, the Orange will be operating at a profound disadvantage against Ohio State big man Jared Sullinger and forward DeShaun Thomas. Ohio State has more size, more length, and more power near the basket. Ohio State is in very good position to clean up on the offensive glass, exploiting a major Syracuse weakness that existed even when Melo was in the Orange’s starting lineup. This would certainly seem to be a case in which the two seed (the Buckeyes) should be favored over the top seed (the Orange). Ohio State is the best team remaining in its entire half of the NCAA tournament bracket. With North Carolina guard Kendall Marshall suffering from a right wrist that was only recently repaired, Ohio State should be the favorite to meet Kentucky in the national championship game on April 2 in New Orleans. If the Buckeyes lose this game, the Ohio State basketball program is going to carry an enormous weight into the start of the following season. In the long run, Syracuse needs this game more, but in the short run, Ohio State has to feel as though this is a must-win. It’s a fascinating debate for the round known as the Elite Eight.