Syracuse vs Louisville: Rick Pitino Is Rare Coach Who Can Crack the 'Cuse Zone
One of the most famous schemes in all of college basketball is the 2-3 zone instituted by the Syracuse Orangemen.
This year’s addition features a sensational shot-blocking presence in Fab Melo and a lot of speed on the perimeter with Scoop Jardine and Brandon Triche. It is smothering at times and the 2-3 zone has yet to surrender over 74 points this year as it’s been a catalyst for Syracuse's scorching 25-1 start.
Monday night, they’ll be facing a No. 24-ranked Louisville squad that knows the secret to cracking the code of scoring against Syracuse. Head coach Rick Pitino has beaten the Orangemen seven straight times with sharp-shooters who can get their shot off quickly from long range.
Overall, they hold a 13-5 all-time record in the series.
The Cardinals have won six straight and are playing some of their best basketball of the season. Another reason Pitino has always played the ‘Cuse zone tough is a strong rebounder who can jump out of the gym to secure a rebound. With no designated player to box out, it can become a free-for-all in the paint when a shot goes up.
This is the No.1 key for the Cardinals to come away with the upset. Syracuse is 11th in the Big East in rebounding (35.6) while Louisville is second (39.1).
As long as the three-point shots are falling and the Cardinals hold a sizable advantage in the rebounding department, recent history tells us what the outcome will be.
Here is Louisville’s chance for a signature win that the NCAA committee always loves to see and behind Kuric and Behanan…they get it.
Prediction: Louisville 73 Syracuse 67
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