The odds makers have Syracuse as a 3 point favorite for tonight's game. Of course, with the game being in Cincinnati, that means the Orangemen are pretty clear favorites. Anyway, if you look at something like Ken Pomeroy's site, 3 points may be a little light. He has Syracuse ranked as the 33rd best team in the country. The Bearcats come in at 136. If you look at the link there, his model predicts a 81-71 'Cuse win and just an 18% chance of a UC victory. In fact, he only has Cincinnati winning 3 more times all year ... all in tight games. Obviously the Bearcats early performance is not one that is going to get a lot of support in a model that is based on early performance. That being said, it's still .... um ... early. Statistics are fun to look at, at least for me, but they're certainly not the end-all-be-all (especially at this point).
Anyway, take a look at the "scouting report" on Syracuse. I didn't even realize all of this stuff existed on Pomeroy's site (perhaps I shouldn't even update any stats -- they are all right there). The Orange are a fast based team, as they play at about 75 possessions per 40 minutes (12th in the country). If you look at the report, you can see that their offense has been borderline elite, while the defense is much more middle of the pack.
They basically start 5 guys and play them a whole bunch of minutes (all 5 over 30). I'm not sure about their depth, so maybe the key for Cincy will be to get them into foul trouble. It'll be interesting to see how this one plays out. Syracuse is a high paced, high scoring team. Cincinnati is a much slower paced team (66 poss. per game). We'll see if the Bearcats try to slow things down or if they try to keep up with Greene and company. Needless to say, this is a big game.