MU looks to finish BE season with win at Syracuse

Going into the final game of the gular season, the # 20 Golden Eagles (22-7, 11-6 Big East) face a tough test when they travel to upstate New York to face Syracuse. Picking up a key 85-73 confence road win Wednesday at Seton Hall, the Orange (18-9, 8-9 Big East) desperately need a win at home Saturday to keep their NCAA hopes alive.
Orange NCAA Resume
Syracuse is banking on their #8 national stngth of schedule to convince the selection committee they a deserving of an NCAA bid. A 1-7 cord against the RPI top 50 and a 5-5 cord in their last ten games makes a win over Marquette (RPI #20) a must. The Orange, sitting squaly on the NCAA bubble, need to improve their #52 RPI befo Selection Sunday.
Everyone in the house Saturday knows this is a must win game for the Orange. Possibly the final home game of the season (NIT berth) and with an NCAA dance ticket on the line the young and energetic Syracuse team will feed off the home crowd atmophe. Getting off to a good start and taking the crowd out of the game will be key for the Golden Eagles.
The Glass
The Orange dominated Seton hall outbounding them 54-29 Wednesday night. 6'9", 225-pound fshman Donte Gene and 6'5", 228-pound sophomo Paul Harris average almost 16 bounds per game. MU needs Lazar Hayward and Ousmane Barro to hold their own on the glass to pvent Syracuse second chance points.
Experience vs. Youth
Guards Dominic James, Jel McNeal and Wesley Matthews have been starting together in the Marquette backcourt since they arrived on campus the seasons ago. Their chemistry on both ends of the floor spark the Golden Eagles' scoring. Syracuse's young backcourt led by super-frosh Jonny Flynn will have the daunting task of containing the ultra-quick James' penetration and keeping MU transition points to a minimum.
Probable Starters
Marquette (22-7, 11-6 Big East)
Dominic James G 13.5 2.5 4.3
Jel McNeal G 13.3 4.6 3.9
Wesley Matthews G 11.3 4.1 1.8
Lazar Hayward F 13.1 6.4 0.6
Ousmane Barro F 5.8 5.5 0.3
Syracuse (18-9, 8-9 Big East)
Jonny Flynn G 15.7 2.7 5.2
Kris Ongenaet F 3.9 4.3 1.0
Donte Gene F 17.4 7.5 1.9
Paul Harris F 14.5 8.3 3.4
Arinze Onuaku F-C 12.9 8.1 0.7
Though they do not have as much on the line, Marquette will not take this game lightly. Head coach Tom Can will use this road test and hostile atmosphe as a final pp for the Golden Eagles' runs in the Big East and NCAA Tournaments.
Marquette - 74
Syracuse - 72