The Syracuse Orange defeated the TCU Horned Frogs 57-52 on Friday, March 16 in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Syracuse covered the spread as 4-point underdogs, and the game went under the total of 137.
The Orange will move on to face Michigan State in the Round of 32 on Sunday. Odds for that matchup will soon be released by BetDSI Sportsbook, but we anticipate Syracuse being an underdog again against the third-seeded Spartans.
Marek Dolezaj scored 17 points on 8-of-13 shooting to pace the Orange on Friday. The team shot just 36.8 percent from the field and 3 of 14 (21.4 percent) from 3-point range, but it did connect on 12 of its 15 trips to the free throw line.
Oshae Brissett collected 13 points, nine rebounds and three blocks for Syracuse, and Paschal Chukwu had eight points and 10 rebounds.
TCU also struggled offensively. The Horned Frogs shot 39.6 percent from the floor and were just 3 of 17 (17.6 percent) from behind the 3-point line. Only two TCU players scored in double figures: Kenrich Williams with 14 points and Vladimir Brodziansky, who added 13 points.
It was a close game throughout the affair, with neither team leading by more than seven points for the entire 40 minutes. TCU ended the first half on an 8-0 run to take a 28-27 lead into the locker room. Syracuse then used a 10-3 run to claim a 41-37 advantage midway through the second half. TCU still wouldn’t go away, closing to a one-point deficit on five occasions, the last on a Williams layup with 3:33 remaining. But Tyus Battle and Frank Howard made jump shots for a 54-49 Syracuse lead, and the Orange defense clamped down on TCU.
Syracuse, which had to play in the First Four round of the tournament, faced long odds to win the championship, with BetDSI pegging the Orange at +35000 to cut down the nets in San Antonio. Their next opponent, Michigan State, is among the favorites to win March Madness with +750 odds.