ACC Tournament Second Round: Syracuse vs. North Carolina

Syracuse’s ACC Tournament Run Comes to an End

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Syracuse lost, 78-59, to North Carolina in the second round of the ACC Tournament Wednesday night.

The Orange used a 12-2 run to cut the Tar Heels’ lead to 66-57 with 4:17 to go on a free throw by Tyus Battle, but Syracuse was unable to get any closer the rest of the way.

The Orange trimmed North Carolina’s lead to 20-19 with 10:19 remaining in the first half on a trey by Oshae Brissett, but the Tar Heels responded with an 11-0 run to take command. North Carolina took a 39-29 lead into the break.

The Tar Heels shot 43.9% from the field and held Syracuse to just 31.7% from the floor. North Carolina also forced the Orange into 12 turnovers and outrebounded Syracuse, 42-37.

Kenny Williams led the Tar Heels with 17 points and 3 steals. Theo Pinson was a thorn in the side of the Orange once again, as he produced a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. The senior swing-man also dished out 6 assists.

Syracuse was led by Brissett who recorded a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Battle added 15 points on only 4-of-21 shooting.

Frank Howard did not play well enough for the Orange to win. Howard finished with 12 points on just 4-of-18 from the floor. The point guard distributed 4 assists, but turned the ball over 7 times against North Carolina’s stout defense. Howard came away with 3 steals of his own in the losing effort.

Jim Boeheim commented on his team’s performance in his postgame press conference. “I thought their [North Carolina] defense was really good, half-court,” Boeheim said. “We just couldn’t get any penetration against them. This team has fought as hard as any team I’ve ever coached. We’re limited. I’m very proud of what they’ve done. They’ve really worked hard through it. We got it to nine, we just didn’t capitalize.”

With the loss, Syracuse fell to 20-13, while the Tar Heels improved to 23-9.

Syracuse will wait anxiously to hear whether or not their name is called on Selection Sunday. The Orange have only three quadrant one wins. Syracuse, in total, is 6-11 versus quadrant one and quadrant two and has two quadrant three losses. The Orange will need to root for the rest of the bubble teams to lose in the various conference tournaments this weekend.

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