Sweet Sixteen Preview: Syracuse-Butler

Jimmy ShayContributor IMarch 24, 2010

BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 21:  Wes Johnson #4 of the Syracuse Orange shoots the ball against Elias Harris #20 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the second round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at HSBC Arena at HSBC Arena on March 21, 2010 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)
Michael Heiman/Getty Images

Game Day Stats:

Date- 7:07 PM ET, March 25, 2010

Arena- EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT




Front Court: No Arinze Onuaku? No problem for Syracuse. Even without the big guy controlling the paint, the Orangestill have the 6’7 play-maker in Wes Johnson. The kid is a stud leading the team with 24 points per game to along with 10 boards. The 6 ft 9 Gordon Hayward leads the Bulldog front court averaging 15.2 ppg on the season.

                                                                                                           Advantage- SYRACUSE


Back Court: Shelvin Mack has been playing like a man on a mission lately going 7-9 on 3 point shots in the first round against UTEP, and then 2-3 the next round against Murray State. Ronald Nored also provides the Bulldogs with quality minutes racking up 3.6 assists per game. On the Syracuseside of things, Andy Rautins leads the team with a staggering 5.0 assists per game and 12.0 points per game.

                                                                                                           Advantage- BUTLER


Coaching: Jim Boeheim is trying to get his team past this round for the first time since 2003 when his Orangemen took down my Kansas Jayhawks. Simply put, the man is a basketball icon, and his zone defense continues to cause problems for opponents. Butler’s Brad Stevens will try to coach his team to its 23rd straight victory(highest current streak in the NCAA).

                                                                                                          Advantage- SYRACUSE


Bottomline: Even without Arinze Onuaku, look for the Orange to keep to its winning ways against Butler. Simply put. Wes Johnson is just too good for the Butler defense and will find a way to lead his team to victory.


Prediction: Syracuse 68 Butler 62