The Syracuse Orange are underdogs to claim the Big East crown before they head off to play in the ACC next season when they take on the Louisville Cardinals Saturday.
Linesmakers have set the NCAA college basketball odds in this Big East Conference tournament title game (8:30 pm ET, ESPN) at -4.5 for the Cardinals.
And possibly for good reason. Louisville has dominated Syracuse in recent years, running to an 8-2 ATS mark in 10 meetings.
The fifth-seeded Orange, who ended the regular season by losing four of their last five games, got to Saturday's conference championship game by beating Seton Hall Wednesday 75-63, Pittsburgh Thursday 62-59 and top-seeded Georgetown Friday 58-55 in overtime.
Syracuse is 2-1 ATS this weekend, coming up short as 14-point favorites over the Pirates but winning outright as two-point dogs against the Panthers and as one-point dogs against the Hoyas. [ Syracuse vs Louisville Matchup Report ]
Second-seeded Louisville, which won this tournament last March before making a run to the Final Four, reached Saturday's conference tournament final by topping Villanova Thursday 74-55, then beating Notre Dame Friday 69-57.
The Cardinals covered as nine-point favorites over the Wildcats, and as eight-point faves over the Irish.
These two teams split two games during the regular season, both winning on the others' home court. The Orange upset the 'Ville 70-68 as seven-point dogs at the Yum Center in January, while the Cardinals returned the favor with a 58-53 win as two-point dogs at the Carrier Dome a couple weeks ago.
With a victory Saturday night Louisville would probably lock up a No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament. The Cardinals are ranked No. 4 at the moment, and No. 2 Duke lost Friday to Maryland in the ACC tournament.
The 'Cuse, meanwhile, is ranked No. 19. So even with a win Saturday the Orange would probably only rise to a three seed.