There's plenty going on in college basketball these days. Here are some of my observations as we head into what should be a fun weekend of games: Syracuse smarts: There are no geniuses in college basketball, but Jim Boeheim is close. The Orange coach believes in the matchup zone down to his socks, and in playing it, he makes his opponents adjust to him. Instead of preparing for and guarding Michigan State's 50- or 60-set playbook, Boeheim had a thin scouting report, and the Spartans had to take the time to prepare for Boeheim's unique defense. Syracuse is, again, long and disruptive in the zone, with shot-blockers like Rick Jackson, Fab Melo and Baye Keita. The Orange defense also invites you to take challenged 3-point shots. Year after year, Syracuse leads the Big East in 3-point percentage defense, and its opponents are shooting 47 percent of its shots from beyond the arc this season. That means lower percentages, less reliable offensive rebounding and fewer free throw opportunities. Syracuse is not a prolific shooting or scoring team, but its defense will win a lot of games.
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