Why Syracuse will win: The 2-3 zone. Oklahoma's still scratching its head, figuring out what just hit them. The Big 12 sees 2-3 zone all year, but not the type that Syracuse plays. The Orangemen's two wingmen constantly trap their men, forcing bad passes and turnovers. But unlike Oklahoma, Texas will have a week to prepare for SU Coach Jim Boeheim's vaunted zone.
Why Syracuse will lose: TJ Ford. Though not the most gifted of shooters, Ford does everything else to make his team great. He's got excellent court vision and has the ability to break down defenses. Ford's one of those special players who makes everyone around him better. Texas is also bigger inside than anything Syracuse has faced in the tournament so far. James Thomas will pose a huge threat to Craig Forth and Jeremy McNeil inside. The 6-foot-8, 235 pound Thomas might scare some fans since he plays a style similar to Georgetown's Mike Sweetney, who has burned Syracuse twice this season.
Player to watch: Carmelo Anthony. As if this needed to be said, Anthony's taken the Orangemen this far, and it will depend on Anthony to see how far the Orangemen can go. Boeheim's been on Anthony's back to get established inside early. If Anthony can get a couple of early scores in the paint, it will open up teammates for open shots as well as Anthony's outside game.
X-Factor: Hakim Warrick. Anthony can't do it by himself. Warrick, Syracuse's best offensive rebounder, will have his work cut out for him against a tough and physical Texas front line. Warrick will need to help on the weak side, give his team extra chances to score and be a force on the low block of both sides of the floor.
Why the Orangemen will and won't beat Texas
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