TALE OF THE TAPE

NCAA Tournament First Round: #4 Syracuse Vs. #13 Montana

#4 Syracuse
#13 Montana
(credit: Elsa/Getty Images)
(credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(credit: Elsa/Getty Images)
(credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Coaching
Winner This one is absolutely no contest. Jim Boeheim has reached three Final Fours and won a national championship (2003). He will bring his top-of-the-line acumen to the ACC next year, but for now, it’s to the big dance on behalf of the Big East.
Wayne Tinkle has done an exemplary job with the University of Montana, turning the Grizzlies into a perennial force in the Big Sky Conference, but he has a long way to go before he’s in Boeheim’s company.
Offense
The Orange score at a pretty decent clip, with C.J. Fair, James Southerland and Brandon Tiche in the mix, and as an excellent rebounding team (20th in the nation), they create more opportunities for themselves.
Winner Clearly, the Grizzlies haven’t played the same level of competition that ‘Cuse has, but it’s impossible to deny how much Montana maximizes its possessions, shooting 47.4 percent from the field, thanks to 50 percent plus shooting from leading scorers Mathias Ward and Kareem Jamar.
Defense
Winner This is the Orange’s bread and butter, as the players have bought into Boeheim’s system. Keeping opponents to low shooting efficiency, low points totals and grabbing nearly nine steals a game makes them a formidable bunch.
The Grizzlies are not nearly as stifling as Syracuse, with inferior defensive numbers in a far inferior conference. They also don’t force many turnovers (5.8 steals per game).
Bench Depth
Backup center Baye Keita anchors the reserve unit with prowess, and Jerami Grant can be counted on when the Orange really need him. Freshman guard Trevor Cooney is also capable of making an impact, though he is still finding his way.
Winner Sophomore forward Mike Weisner is a stud off the bench, shooting nearly 50 percent from downtown, and Keron DeShields has also made a significant impact.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

(credit: Elsa/Getty Images) (credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Syracuse has the advantage, but Montana is a sneaky team far more capable of pulling the upset than people think. Still, chalk will probably prevail, thanks to Syracuse’s superior talent level.

-Adam Spunberg, College Basketball Contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25:  Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants breaks a tackle by Josh Norman #24 of the Washington Redskins in the second half at MetLife Stadium on September 25, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 25:   Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers runs the ball against Everson Griffen #97 and Tom Johnson #92 of the Minnesota Vikings in the 1st half during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: New York Giants At Minnesota Vikings

    The Vikings defense has annihilated every opponent so far. Can they do it to the explosive Giants offense this week?

  2. KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 25: Center Mitch Morse #61 of the Kansas City Chiefs prepares to snap the ball to Alex Smith #11 at Arrowhead Stadium during the second quarter of the game against the New York Jets on September 25, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers passes against  Bennie Logan #96 of the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: Kansas City Chiefs At Pittsburgh Steelers

    The Chiefs and Steelers battle it out in a match-up of AFC playoff contenders.

  3. ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 25:  Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Chicago Bears in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Running back Carlos Hyde #28 of the San Francisco 49ers rushes for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on September 25, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 37-18.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: Dallas Cowboys At San Francisco 49ers

    The Cowboys have been rolling with rookie QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott. They look to continue that momentum this week.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS San Francisco

Get The New CBS SF Bay Area Local App
Got Our Weather App?
Listen to Radio.com Anywhere, Anytime!

Listen Live