TALE OF THE TAPE

NCAA Tournament Championship Weekend: #4 Michigan Vs. #4 Syracuse

#4 Michigan
#4 Syracuse
Michigan v Kansas
Syracuse v Marquette
Coaching
This has been the coming-out party for John Beilein, who is finally benefiting from his hard work and dedication – along with some prized recruits. Now in his first Final Four, a national championship would loft him to new heights.
Winner What makes Jim Boeheim so special isn’t just his long run of successes – it’s the way he does it. Everybody left this Syracuse team for dead, and then the Orange go out and upset Indiana, take care of Marquette. This Final Four appearance – his fourth -- is well earned.
Offense
Winner The Wolverines score in bunches, and while that can be a risky way to play, it can also be deadly. Straight off the bat, Michigan strangled a talented Gators squad with instant offense, and this came after the incredible heroics against Kansas. If Nik Stauskas hits 6-6 threes again like he did vs. the Gators, forget it.
As you might expect, the Orange have not been winning these games with offense. C.J. Fair, James Southerland and company shot a paltry 38 percent against Marquette and only managed 61 points against Indiana – yet won both games comfortably.
Defense
The Wolverines sport an above-average defense, but they rely more on containment than forcing turnovers. They also do an incredible job of avoiding fouls, often never allowing teams to reach the bonus.
Winner As in previous editions, it’s time yet again to laud Boeheim’s 2-3 zone. The Orange are stifling opponents in jaw-dropping ways. Indiana? 50 points on 33-percent shooting. Marquette? Just 39 points! The Golden Eagles aren’t known for their shooting, but Syracuse embarrassed them.
Bench Depth
Spike Albrecht is the only guy getting serious minutes off the bench right now, and he averaged just 7.7 minutes a game during the season. The Wolverines are rolling with their starters to the end.
Winner For the Orange, the only significant bench player is Baye Keita, who eats up a ton of minutes while patrolling the floor defensively. The important thing is, Syracuse can survive foul trouble with that kind of reliable size just ready to be summoned.

The Winner Is

Syracuse v Marquette
Winner #4 Syracuse
3 out of 4

Both teams are playing exceptionally well right now. Michigan will have to shoot through the zone if it’s going to crack the Orange curtain, something they have proven they can do. Should be a fantastic game!

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 20:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts runs with the ball during the second half of the game against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 20, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 27:  Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the New York Jets looks to throw a pass against the New England Patriots in the game at MetLife Stadium on November 27, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Justin Heiman/Getty Images)
    Week 13 Tale Of The Tape: Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets

    The Colts are still alive for the playoffs while the Jets are just playing out the string.

  2. OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers looks to pass against the Oakland Raiders during their NFL game on November 27, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks runs for several yards on the quarterback keeper during the second quarter of an NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on November 27, 2016 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
    Week 13 Tale Of The Tape: Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks

    The Panthers travel to Seattle for a date with the Seahawks.

  3. TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Quarterback Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks for a receiver during the third quarter of an NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks on November 27, 2016 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 13:  Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers passes the ball during a game against the Miami Dolphins at Qualcomm Stadium on November 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
    Week 13 Tale Of The Tape: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Diego Chargers

    The Bucs are in second place in the NFC South and look to keep pace with the Falcons as they match-up with a tough Chargers team.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Philly

2016 Guide To Holiday Mall Hours
Best East Coast Destinations To See Fall Foliage
Sign Up Now!

Listen Live