Two of the NCAA Tournament’s coldest teams will meet on Thursday night, with Baylor and Syracuse squaring off in Salt Lake City, and all eyes will be on how each squad starts the game.
Syracuse have lost five of their last seven games, while Baylor hasn’t been much better, dropping their past four themselves. Not only that, Baylor even lost in the quarterfinal round of the Big 12 Tournament to Iowa State.
To their credit, the Bears have fought through some bad luck, given that the only two players on their roster with NCAA Tournament experience — Makai Mason and King McClure — battling injuries, struggling to stay healthy. That’s why the first 10 minutes of the game will be so interesting, to see what type of condition those two are in.
For the Orange, Frank Howard has really emerged as of late, averaging 23 points in his past two contests. But he’s been suspended for Thursday’s game, as he violated an athletic department policy. That puts a lot of pressure on star Tyus Battle, who suffered a bank injury on March 9, and hasn’t played since then. There are a lot of X-Factors and question marks in this contest, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
How to watch Baylor vs Syracuse
What: No. 8 Syracuse vs. No. 9 Baylor
When: Thursday, March 21
Time: 9:57 p.m. ET (Thursday)
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Betting odds: Syracuse -2, -150 moneyline
TV channels: truTV