Preview: Syracuse vs. West Virginia

Game Syracuse Orange vs. West Virginia Mountaineers
Date: March 21st, 2021 5:15 PM
TV: CBS
Spread: WVU -3.5
Total: 148 Open 147

Preview

Syracuse Offense vs. West Virginia Defense

Syracuse checks in at 22nd nationally in Bart Torvik’s adjusted offensive efficiency ratings. The Orange shoot 50.7 percent on twos and 34.6 percent on threes for a 51.2 effective field goal percentage.

West Virginia is ranked 68th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency. On the season, West Virginia opponents make 51.5 percent of their twos and 33.5 percent of their threes for a 51 effective field goal percentage.

Basics
  • West Virginia’s defense has been struggling over the last month. The Mountaineers are ranked 100th in adjusted defensive efficiency over the last 30 days compared to 68th for the season.
  • The Orange are one of the biggest teams in the NCAA Tournament with an average height of 78.05 inches according to KenPom.com.
  • You can trust Syracuse at the line in a close game. The Orange shoot 78 percent at the line for the season.
Extra Possessions
  • Syracuse does a great job of maximizing its offensive possessions and valuing the basketball. The Orange only turn it over on 16.3 percent of their offensive possessions. That sets up a strength on strength battle against a West Virginia defense that forces giveaways on 20.9 percent of possessions.
  • Syracuse is unique because its guards are aggressive on the offensive glass. Perimeter players account for 30.9 percent of the Orange’ offensive boards. That should put extra pressure on West Virginia’s perimeter players to clean up the glass.
Shot Profile
  • Syracuse’s offensive attack is perimeter-oriented. The Orange attempt 41 percent of their shots from 3-point range. West Virginia’s defense is vulnerable against the three, allowing its opponents to attempt 38 percent of their shots from outside the arc.
  • West Virginia only contests 35 percent of if its opponents catch and shoot attempts. Conversely, Syracuse’s offense is fairly average at generating clean catch-and-shoot opportunities, 58 percent of the Orange’ catch and shoot attempts have been contested this season.
  • Syracuse’s offense doesn’t have a single player shooting 38% or better from 3-point range with over 50 attempts.
  • Syracuse is one of the best teams in the country at finishing around the basket. The Orange shoot 59 percent at the rim and West Virginia allows 60 percent shooting inside of five feet.
  • Syracuse’s offense is heavy on mid-range jumpers. The Orange attempt 27 percent of their shots from the mid-range and connect at a 40 percent clip.
Style
  • Syracuse is one of the better passing teams in the country and 56 percent of its made field goals are assisted this season.
  • Syracuse’s offense is overweight on off-ball screens and cuts compared to the rest of the field and should test West Virginia’s defensive discipline off the ball. The Orange average 10.5 points per game via cuts and off-ball screens, scoring 1.09 points per play on those actions. West Virginia’s defense is fairly average defending off the ball. Opponents score 0.95 points per play against the Mountaineers.
  • Syracuse trusts its players to create in one-on-one situations and scores 8.9 points per game out of iso actions and average 0.88 points per isolation play.

West Virginia Offense vs. Syracuse Defense

The Mountaineers are ranked 10th nationally in Bart Torvik’s adjusted offensive efficiency ratings. West Virginia shoots 46 percent on twos and 36.5 percent on threes for a 48.9 effective field goal percentage.

Syracuse’s defense is ranked 70th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency. Opponents shoot 48.5 percent on twos and 31.6 percent on threes for a 48 effective field goal percentage against the Orange.

Basics
  • West Virginia’s offense enters the tournament on a cold streak. Over the last 30 days, the Mountaineers are ranked 29th in adjusted offensive efficiency compared to 10th for the year.
  • West Virginia is overseeded according to efficiency metrics. The 3rd seeded Mountaineers are ranked 27th nationally, per Bart Torvik, and their computer numbers suggest they are more like a 5 or 6 seed.
  • West Virginia plays as fast as any team in the country. The Mountaineers average 71 possessions per game.
  • Syracuse plays primarily zone defense. The Orange utilize zone defense on 79.1 percent of their defensive plays, per Synergy. That’s one of the highest rates in the country and they allow 0.82 points per play in zone defense. West Virginia has struggled against zone defenses this year — 0.79 points per play — and that could cause issues on Sunday.
Extra Possessions
  • West Virginia does a great job of maximizing its offensive possessions and valuing the basketball. The Mountaineers only turn it over on 16.7 percent of their offensive possessions. That sets up a strength on strength battle against a Syracuse defense that forces giveaways on 20.1 percent of possessions.
  • West Virginia does a terrific job turning defense into offense. The Mountaineers score 16.5 points points per game off of turnovers. Syracuse avoids turnovers for touchdowns, allowing only 11.4 points per game off of giveaways.
  • West Virginia is one of the better offensive rebounding teams in the country. The Mountaineers grab 36.1 percent of their missed shots. Syracuse is one of the worst defensive rebounding teams in the country and allows opposing offenses to grab 65.9 percent of their misses. That means that Mountaineers should be able to create a significant advantage on the boards.
  • Second chance points are crucial to West Virginia’s offense. The Mountaineers score 13.6 points off of second chances and only allow 11.0 points per game, outscoring teams by 2.6 points per game just on second chance opportunities. Syracuse has struggled on the glass and has been outscored by 1.0 points per game in the paint.
Shot Profile
  • Syracuse allows opponents to attempt 44 percent of their shots from 3-point range. The Orange have gotten a bit lucky so far this season as opponents only make 32 percent of their threes. On the year, West Virginia is shooting 36 from outside and attempts 33 percent of its shots from long distance.
  • West Virginia is difficult to guard because it has 3 players on the roster shooting at least 38 percent from 3-point range on over 50 perimeter attempts.
  • West Virginia’s offense is heavy on mid-range jumpers. The Mountaineers attempt 33 percent of their shots from the mid-range and connect at a 36 percent clip.
Style
  • Syracuse’s has the tendency to over-help on defense and its opponents record assists on 68.3 percent of made baskets.
  • West Virginia’s offense incorporates more off-ball actions and screens than the average Division I team. The Mountaineers score 9.9 points per game off of off-ball actions at 0.98 points per play. Syracuse’s defense excels at defending off-ball sets, allowing just 0.85 points per play.
  • West Virginia has one of the most dominant post-up offenses in the NCAA Tournament, averaging 11.9 points per game on 0.89 points per post-up play. That should be a mismatch against a Syracuse team that allows 0.97 points per post-up play.
  • West Virginia runs more isolation sets than the average Division I team. The Mountaineers score 7.3 points per game out of ISO sets at 0.72 points per play. Syracuse’s defense struggles to defend isolation actions. Opponents score 1.31 points per isolation play (including pass-outs) against the Orange.

Bottom Line

Bart Torvik lists West Virginia as a 77-75 favorite, giving the Mountaineers a 57 percent chance of advancing.

SYR Personnel

#35 Buddy Boeheim

Role: Runaround Wing
Height: 6'6" | Weight: 195 lbs

Ball Screen Creator Off Screen Shooter Mid-Range Specialist Transition Scorer Off the Dribble Shooter Catch and Shoot Isolation Scorer Poor Finisher Takes Tough Shots Minutes Logger Avoids Turnovers Efficient Shooter Above 80% FT
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
17.8 2.6 2.5 112.6 22.9% 53.6%
🔥🔥🔥: Boeheim is averaging 25 points per game over the last 5 games. That’s 7.2 points above his season average.

#1 Quincy Guerrier

Role: Reluctant Shooter
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 220 lbs

Post-Up Scorer Isolation Scorer Offensive Rebounder Smart Shot Selection Avoids Turnovers
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
13.7 8.4 0.8 113.8 20.1% 53.2%

#0 Alan Griffin

Role: Runaround Wing
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 190 lbs

Off Screen Shooter Transition Scorer Rim Protector Catch and Shoot Isolation Scorer Above 80% FT
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
13.2 5.8 1.9 105.7 23.5% 52%
❄️❄️❄️: Griffin is averaging 4 points per game over the last 5 games. That’s 9.2 points below his season average.

#21 Marek Dolezaj

Role: Pick and Pop Big
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 201 lbs

Glue Guy Mid-Range Specialist Isolation Scorer Non Shooter Takes Tough Shots Gets to the Line Minutes Logger Cut and Finish Efficient Shooter Above 80% FT
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
9.8 5.2 3.2 120.4 15.0% 54.1%

#11 Joseph Girard

Role: Secondary Ball Handler
Height: 6'1" | Weight: 195 lbs

Ball Screen Creator Distributor Transition Scorer Pick Pocket Poor Finisher Takes Tough Shots
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
9.8 2.9 3.6 96.6 22.3% 45.3%

WVU Personnel

#4 Miles McBride

Role: Secondary Ball Handler
Height: 6'2" | Weight: 196 lbs

Ball Screen Creator Distributor Mid-Range Specialist Transition Scorer Pick Pocket Catch and Shoot Isolation Scorer Takes Tough Shots Avoids Turnovers Above 80% FT
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
15.9 3.9 4.8 117.8 23.0% 49.5%

#1 Derek Culver

Role: Post Up Big
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 255 lbs

Post-Up Scorer Mid-Range Specialist Isolation Scorer Non Shooter Offensive Rebounder Defensive Rebounder Mega Usage Gets to the Line Below 65% FT
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
14.3 9.4 1.1 101.5 29.1% 47.8%

#12 Taz Sherman

Role: Runaround Wing
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 185 lbs

Ball Screen Creator Mid-Range Specialist Transition Scorer Catch and Shoot Isolation Scorer Takes Tough Shots Go-To Guy Avoids Turnovers Above 80% FT
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
13.4 1.8 1.4 109.5 25.3% 49.5%

#22 Sean McNeil

Role: Runaround Wing
Height: 6'3" | Weight: 207 lbs

Mid-Range Specialist Transition Scorer Off the Dribble Shooter Catch and Shoot Isolation Scorer Takes Tough Shots Avoids Turnovers Efficient Shooter Above 80% FT
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
12.2 2.2 0.8 116.4 16.9% 52.7%

#11 Emmitt Matthews

Role: Tall Spot Up Wing
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 210 lbs

Mid-Range Specialist Isolation Scorer
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
7.7 4 1.1 101.9 16.7% 44.4%

ATS

West Virginia ATS Performance

This Season

West Virginia is 13-16-0 against the spread this year. The over has hit in 18 of 29 West Virginia games (62.1%) this season.

West Virginia is 4-3-0 against the spread at neutral sites this year. The over has hit in 3 of West Virginia’s 7 games on neutral floors (42.9%) this season.

Date Opp Result Spread Cover By Total Over By
11/25/2020 vs. South Dakota State W, 79-71 10.5 W 18.5 145.5 OVER 4.5
11/26/2020 vs. VCU W, 78-66 -10.5 W 1.5 145.5 UNDER -1.5
11/27/2020 vs. Western Kentucky W, 70-64 -8 L -2 151 UNDER -17
12/2/2020 vs. Gonzaga L, 82-87 7.5 W 2.5 154 OVER 15
12/6/2020 at Georgetown W, 80-71 -10.5 L -1.5 146 OVER 5
12/11/2020 North Texas W, 62-50 -14.5 L -2.5 138.5 UNDER -26.5
12/13/2020 Richmond W, 87-71 -7.5 W 8.5 147.5 OVER 10.5
12/18/2020 Iowa State W, 70-65 -15.5 L -10.5 146.5 UNDER -11.5
12/22/2020 at Kansas L, 65-79 2 L -12 140.5 OVER 3.5
12/29/2020 Northeastern W, 73-51 -18.5 W 3.5 136.5 UNDER -12.5
1/2/2021 at Oklahoma L, 71-75 1 L -3 143.5 OVER 2.5
1/4/2021 at Oklahoma State W, 87-84 -1 W 2 143.5 OVER 27.5
1/9/2021 Texas L, 70-72 -1.5 L -3.5 140.5 OVER 1.5
1/23/2021 at Kansas State W, 69-47 -11 W 11 135.5 UNDER -19.5
1/25/2021 Texas Tech W, 88-87 -1.5 L -0.5 136.5 OVER 38.5
1/30/2021 Florida L, 80-85 -5 L -10 147.5 OVER 17.5
2/2/2021 at Iowa State W, 76-72 -11 L -7 145.5 OVER 2.5
2/6/2021 Kansas W, 91-79 -2.5 W 9.5 141.5 OVER 28.5
2/9/2021 at Texas Tech W, 82-71 6 W 17 140 OVER 13
2/13/2021 Oklahoma L, 90-91 -3 L -4 145.5 OVER 35.5
2/20/2021 at Texas W, 84-82 2.5 W 4.5 146 OVER 20
2/23/2021 at TCU W, 74-66 -6.5 W 1.5 145.5 UNDER -5.5
2/27/2021 Kansas State W, 65-43 -14.5 W 7.5 139.5 UNDER -31.5
3/2/2021 Baylor L, 89-94 4.5 L -0.5 149.5 OVER 33.5
3/4/2021 TCU W, 76-67 -13 L -4 143.5 UNDER -0.5
3/6/2021 Oklahoma State L, 80-85 -10 L -15 147 OVER 18
3/11/2021 vs. Oklahoma State L, 69-72 -3 L -6 151 UNDER -10
3/19/2021 vs. Morehead State W, 84-67 -13 W 4 137.5 OVER 13.5
3/21/2021 vs. Syracuse L, 72-75 -4 L -7 147 UNDER 0

Head to Head

West Virginia is 0-1-0 against the spread when it plays against Syracuse in recorded games since 2021. The over has hit in 0 out of 1 recorded head-to-head games (0%).

Date Opp Result Spread Cover By Total Over By
3/21/2021 vs. Syracuse L, 72-75 -4 L -7 147 UNDER 0

Syracuse ATS Performance

This Season

Syracuse is 13-15-0 against the spread this year. The over has hit in 14 of 28 Syracuse games (50%) this season.

Syracuse is 4-1-0 against the spread at neutral sites this year. The over has hit in 3 of Syracuse’s 5 games on neutral floors (60%) this season.

Date Opp Result Spread Cover By Total Over By
11/27/2020 Bryant W, 85-84 -23 L -22 144 OVER 25
12/3/2020 Niagara W, 75-45 -21 W 9 144 UNDER -24
12/5/2020 Rider W, 87-52 -20.5 W 14.5 145.5 UNDER -6.5
12/8/2020 at Rutgers L, 69-79 3.5 L -6.5 141.5 OVER 6.5
12/12/2020 at Boston College W, 101-63 -3 W 35 150.5 OVER 13.5
12/16/2020 Northeastern W, 62-56 -17.5 L -11.5 146.5 UNDER -28.5
12/19/2020 Buffalo W, 107-96 -12.5 L -1.5 152.5 OVER 50.5
1/6/2021 Pittsburgh L, 60-63 -11.5 L -14.5 139.5 UNDER -16.5
1/9/2021 Georgetown W, 74-69 -10.5 L -5.5 146.5 UNDER -3.5
1/12/2021 at North Carolina L, 75-81 3.5 L -2.5 143.5 OVER 12.5
1/16/2021 at Pittsburgh L, 76-96 -4.5 L -24.5 139.5 OVER 32.5
1/19/2021 Miami W, 83-57 -5.5 W 20.5 142 UNDER -2
1/23/2021 Virginia Tech W, 78-60 -1 W 17 141.5 UNDER -3.5
1/25/2021 at Virginia L, 58-81 7 L -16 129.5 OVER 9.5
1/31/2021 NC State W, 76-73 -5.5 L -2.5 148 OVER 1
2/6/2021 at Clemson L, 61-78 3.5 L -13.5 134.5 OVER 4.5
2/9/2021 at NC State W, 77-68 2 W 11 148 UNDER -3
2/13/2021 Boston College W, 75-67 -11.5 L -3.5 149.5 UNDER -7.5
2/20/2021 Notre Dame W, 75-67 -2.5 W 5.5 150.5 UNDER -8.5
2/22/2021 at Duke L, 71-85 5.5 L -8.5 149 OVER 7
2/27/2021 at Georgia Tech L, 77-84 4.5 L -2.5 144.5 OVER 16.5
3/1/2021 North Carolina W, 72-70 1 W 3 149 UNDER -7
3/3/2021 Clemson W, 64-54 -2.5 W 7.5 135.5 UNDER -17.5
3/10/2021 vs. NC State W, 89-68 -2 W 19 146 OVER 11
3/11/2021 vs. Virginia L, 69-72 5.5 W 2.5 133 OVER 8
3/19/2021 vs. San Diego State W, 78-62 3 W 19 138.5 OVER 1.5
3/21/2021 vs. West Virginia W, 75-72 4 W 7 147 UNDER 0
3/27/2021 vs. Houston L, 46-62 6.5 L -9.5 140 UNDER -32

Head to Head

Syracuse is 1-0-0 against the spread when it plays against West Virginia in recorded games since 2021. The over has hit in 0 out of 1 recorded head-to-head games (0%).

Date Opp Result Spread Cover By Total Over By
3/21/2021 vs. West Virginia W, 75-72 4 W 7 147 UNDER 0
Note: Our ATS data dates back to the 2017-18 season.

News

News Updates

News updates via RotoWire.
  • Buddy Boeheim (03/28): Boeheim finished with 12 points (3-13 FG, 1-9 3Pt, 5-7 FT), six rebounds, two steals and an assist across 36 minutes in Saturday's loss against Houston.
  • Joseph Girard (03/28): Girard had 12 points (4-10 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 2-2 FT), a rebound and an assist across 23 minutes in Saturday's loss against Houston.
  • Taz Sherman (03/28): Sherman announced Sunday via his personal Twitter account he is declaring for the 2021 NBA Draft with the option to also return to college for another year.
  • Emmitt Matthews (03/25): Matthews has elected to enter the transfer portal, VerbalCommits.com reports.
  • Jordan McCabe (03/23): McCabe entered the NCAA's transfer portal Tuesday and is expected to leave West Virginia, Travis Branham of 247Sports.com reports.
  • Sean McNeil (03/23): McNeil announced that he is entering his name in the NBA Draft but can return to West Virginia.
  • Marek Dolezaj (03/22): Dolezaj had 12 points (4-6 FG, 4-4 FT), six rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block across 37 minutes in Sunday's win over West Virginia.
  • Buddy Boeheim (03/21): Boeheim had 25 points (8-17 FG, 6-13 3Pt, 3-4 FT), three rebounds, two steals and an assist in Sunday's win over West Virginia.
  • Jalen Bridges (03/21): Bridges chipped in 15 points (6-8 FG, 3-5 3Pt), five rebounds, two assists, and a steal in the win over Morehead State on Friday.
  • Miles McBride (03/21): McBride went off for a game-high 30 points (11-17 FG, 3-4 3Pt, 5-6 FT), six rebounds, six assists, and three steals in the win over Morehead State on Friday.
  • Joseph Girard (03/20): Girard ended with 12 points (3-10 FG, 3-8 3Pt, 3-3 FT), seven assists and six rebounds across 28 minutes in Friday's win over San Diego State.
  • Buddy Boeheim (03/20): Boeheim notched 30 points (11-15 FG, 7-10 3Pt, 1-1 FT) and four rebounds during Friday's win over San Diego State.
  • Quincy Guerrier (03/12): Guerrier notched 14 points (6-14 FG, 0-3 3Pt, 2-6 FT), 10 rebounds, two steals and an assist across 39 minutes in Thursday's loss against Virginia.
  • Buddy Boeheim (03/11): Boeheim had 31 points (10-17 FG, 5-8 3Pt, 6-6 FT), three assists and two rebounds across 39 minutes in Thursday's 72-69 loss to Virginia.
  • Gabe Osabuohien (03/11): Osabuohien will appear off the bench in Thursday's Big 12 Tournament opener versus Oklahoma State.
  • Derek Culver (03/11): Culver will start Thursday's game against Okahoma State.
  • Joseph Girard (03/11): Girard had 14 points (4-12 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 4-5 FT), three assists and a rebound across 33 minutes in Wednesday's win over NC State.
  • Miles McBride (03/06): McBride tallied 12 points (4-9 FG, 0-3 3Pt, 4-4 FT), four assists, three steals, and two rebounds in the loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday.
  • Taz Sherman (03/06): Sherman put up a team-high 20 points (7-15 FG, 3-7 3Pt, 3-3 FT), three steals, one rebound, and an assist in the loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday.
  • Jordan McCabe (03/06): McCabe (back) returned to action Saturday against Oklahoma State, collecting three points (1-1 FG, 1-2 FT), an assist and a steal over five minutes.
  • Gabe Osabuohien (03/06): Osabuohien will start Saturday's contest against Oklahoma State.
  • Sean McNeil (03/06): McNeil will not start Saturday's Senior Day game against Oklahoma State.
  • Derek Culver (03/06): Culver won't start Saturday's contest against Oklahoma State.
  • Jordan McCabe (03/04): McCabe will miss Thursday's game against TCU due to a lower-back injury.
  • Buddy Boeheim (03/04): Boeheim delivered 17 points (6-15 FG, 2-10 3Pt, 3-3 FT), five rebounds, an assist and a steal across 39 minutes in Wednesday's win over Clemson.