My March Madness Brackets: Syracuse Faces Vermont

March Madness odds for Friday include top-seeded Syracuse favored against 16th-seeded Vermont.

The Orange were sent out to the West Region and they are the smallest favorite of the top seeds as they are laying 17.5 points in March Madness betting to Vermont.

March Madness odds don’t have Syracuse as the top pick to win it all. That honor goes to Kansas while Syracuse is the co-third choice behind the Jayhawks and Kentucky. The Orange are still very talented though and they are capable of winning in March Madness betting.  The Orange may get a game for a while against a Vermont team that has some inside presence.  They have Marqus Blakely and Evan Fjeld. Maurice Joseph is their top player in the backcourt.  The problem for Vermont this season was offensively and that is an even bigger problem against a Syracuse team that plays a zone defense.

Syracuse is led by Big East Player of the Year Wes Johnson.  He can simply do it all inside and outside.  The Orange also have Andy Rautins who can shoot the ball from the outside and Kris Joseph was named Big East Sixth Man of the Year.

The only concern with Syracuse would be that they lost their last two games of the season.  Teams that win it all simply don’t enter the NCAA Tournament on a two-game losing streak.  That might be one reason to go against the Orange in March Madness odds.  Another concern is the injury to big man Arinze Onuaku.

Syracuse was shown to be vulnerable in the last couple of games but it takes a team that can shoot the ball well to beat them. Vermont is not that team.  They are no pushover though for a #16 seed.  Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim is concerned. “Vermont is a very good team.  I have watched them play over the weekend.  They are a good basketball team and there is just no easy games anymore.” Boehiem said, “I think the fact that we can play close to home, in Buffalo, helps a little bit but it is still a tough game.”

If Syracuse wins as expected against Vermont they would then face the winner of the game between Gonzaga and Florida State.  Gonzaga might be the type of team that could shoot well enough to give that Syracuse zone defense some problems.