Michigan vs. Syracuse: Key to Victory for Each Team

Matt MetzlerContributor IIIApril 5, 2013

Michael Carter-Williams will have to continue his efficient play to lead Syracuse to victory.
Michael Carter-Williams will have to continue his efficient play to lead Syracuse to victory.Chris Chambers/Getty Images

In a matchup of No. 4 seeds, Michigan takes on Syracuse with a trip to the national championship on the line.

On paper, the game looks to be as even as it gets and a virtual pick-em, but what is one thing each team can do to better their odds of winning?

Michigan: Offensive Rebounding

Syracuse's 2-3 zone has forced teams to live or die by the three-point line, all of them dying thus far. What is the best way to beat a zone other than obviously shooting well?

Second chance points. 

Mitch McGary has been an absolute beast down low for the Wolverines so far in the tournament, collecting rebound after rebound on both ends. He will need to continue that trend for a Michigan win.

The Syracuse zone will force Michigan's shooters to put up jumpers and the Wolverines will rely on McGary to do the dirty work, something he has proven he can do and is more than willing to do.

After a missed jumper, the 2-3 zone will not be tight in formation due to players scrambling for the rebound.

Grabbing rebounds and then swinging the ball quickly will result in great perimeter looks for Michigan's guards.

Offensive rebounding and second chance opportunities will help break down the stingy Syracuse zone and give Michigan's already efficient offense a boost.

Syracuse: Michael Carter-Williams

Michael Carter-Williams makes this Syracuse team go by creating on the offensive end and creating turnovers on the defensive end.

In what is sure to be a great matchup between Carter-Williams and Michigan's Trey Burke, Carter-Williams must control the tempo of the game.

Offensively, his decision making in the tournament has been exceptional in terms of choosing to dish the ball to shooters, dump it down low, score himself or pull the ball out and slow it down.

Defensively, Carter-Williams is the catalyst for a very good Syracuse team in transition.

His length allows him to clog passing lanes and steal the ball at a good rate.

This will be important against Michigan as they will try to move the ball quickly around the perimeter to find open shots against Syracuse's zone.