A quick take on Syracuse’s 85-68 loss against No. 9 ranked North Carolina Monday night, in front of a near sellout crowd at the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill:
WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse (11-8, 3-3) scored the first basket, and that was the only time the Orange had the lead in the game as North Carolina (17-3, 5-1) dominated, especially on the boards and from beyond the arc, to keep SU winless in six games played away from the Carrier Dome this season.
ANALYSIS: To beat a Top 10 team on the road you have to limit mistakes and play above the rim, if you will, and every time the Orange made a run to keep the game close, a turnover here, a missed rebound opportunity there, and suddenly the Tar Heels were either hitting a three pointer (seven), or converting a follow up opportunity (18 offensive rebounds). SU also committed 13 turnovers converting to 26 UNC points to thwart any upset bid. Overall, UNC had a 44-24 domination on the boards. Tyler Lydon had 26 points, missing just three shots and three off his career high, to lead the ‘Cuse.
HEROES: Plenty to choose from with Carolina’s patented team effort as four of the five starters were in double figures combining for 65 points, and coach Roy Williams joined ACC Hall of Fame counterparts Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Boeheim winning his 800th career game.
ZERO: The road woes continued for this year’s team, albeit it’s tough for any visiting team to win at the “Dean Dome,” and in fact SU is now 0-3 against North Carolina in ACC play at Chapel Hill. The only other ACC venue Syracuse has yet to win a game is (the now refurbished) Littlejohn Coliseum at Clemson where the Orange play Feb. 7.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse stays on the road facing current league-leading, No. 15 ranked Notre Dame on Saturday, Jan. 21. Prior to games played Wednesday this week, the Irish (16-2, 5-0) were the only unbeaten team in conference play, winning thrice on the road, and have another tough test at No. 10/12 Florida State on Wed. before hosting SU at The Joyce Center. The ‘Cuse beat up on N.D. 81-66 in the Dome last season, and have won seven of the last eight meetings dating back to 2009. Game Time: 12:00 p.m. ET / TV: ESPN.