Unbeaten Orange Visit Arkansas In SEC/Big East Challenge

By: Willie Bee | Thursday, November 29, 2012

Syracuse Orange at Arkansas Razorbacks
College Basketball Betting Preview
11/30/2012 at 8:30 p.m. (ET)
Opening Lines: Syracuse -8, O/U 146½
(click for latest college basketball odds)
Television: ESPN

Syracuse Orange: You don't often find the Orange (4-0 straight-up, 2-0 against the spread) outside of New York this time of year, but Coach Jim Boeheim's crew is making a rare, true road trip Friday to meet Arkansas. Syracuse started the season in San Diego with a solid 62-49 win and cover vs. San Diego State aboard the USS Midway. The Orange have since followed that up with three more decisive wins, the latest an 87-51 skate past Colgate last Sunday, to rise to No. 5 in the Coaches Poll while sitting at No. 6 according to the writers. Defense has been the key so far with Syracuse ranking sixth in fewest points allowed (52.5 points per game) while holding opponents to 33.5 percent shooting (8th-best). Seniors James Southerland and Brandon Triche share the team lead with 15.3 ppg scoring averages, and seven players are pulling down at least 3.5 rebounds per contest. Sophomore point guard Michael Carter-Williams also leads the nation with 9.3 assists per game.

Arkansas Razorbacks: Winless at the Las Vegas Invitational over the Thanksgiving weekend, the Hogs (3-2 SU, 1-1 ATS) hit the hardwood for the first time since the trip to Sin City. Arkansas got 29 points from sophomore BJ Young in their first game at Orleans Arena but couldn't stop Arizona State from scoring in an 83-68 setback as a 7-point favorite. The Razorbacks followed that up with a 77-70 defeat to Wisconsin, just grabbing the cover as 8½-point underdogs in the consolation bracket. This is the first of a tough three-game stretch for Arkansas, as the team hosts Oklahoma next Tuesday before traveling to take on Michigan a little more than a week from now. Averaging 82.4 points per game has the Hogs 17th in the country, and the bulk of those points come from Young, who is putting up 20.5 per game. Only one other player is averaging double digits (Marshawn Powell, 12.2 ppg), and the team is shooting a middling 43.7 percent from the field in the early going.

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