Instant Juice: Syracuse 59, North Carolina 78

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Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim speaks with Paschal Chukwu during a stoppage in play. Mandatory Photo Credit: Kicia Sears, The Juice Online.

NEW YORK — A quick take on Syracuse’s 78-59 loss to North Carolina in the second round of the ACC Tournament:

WHAT HAPPENED: After Oshae Brissett’s 3-pointer pulled Syracuse to within 20-19 with 10:19 left in the first half, the Orange offense went dormant, going more than five minutes without any points. Tyus Battle’s floater in the lane with 5:03 was SU’s next basket, and by that point, UNC had taken a 31-21 lead. The Tar Heels then started the second half on a 12-4 run to make it 51-33 with 15:39 left, and Syracuse could only pull to within nine the rest of the way.

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ANALYSIS: Syracuse’s NCAA resume looks like this: A 20-13 record, 8-10 within the ACC with a strength of schedule at 11 and an RPI of 36 according to ESPN. It has a top 25 win over Clemson and ‘bad’ losses to Wake Forest, Boston College and Georgia Tech. Unlike last year, SU has solid road wins, including at Louisville and at Miami. Is that enough for an at-large bid? It seems unlikely, but Syracuse’s resume is still worthy of being in the conversation. Close losses against St. Bonaventure, Florida State, Notre Dame, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and NC State will certainly loom large on Selection Sunday.

HERO: Cameron Johnson (13), Luke Maye (13), Kenny Williams (17) and Theo Pinson (16) were part of a balanced UNC attack. Brissett led Syracuse with 20 points on 5-7 shooting from beyond the arc.

ZERO: Syracuse’s offense stagnated throughout much of the game, as evidenced by six separate shot clock violations and just six overall assists. Look no further than SU’s starting backcourt of Frank Howard and Tyus Battle, who combined for 8-39 shooting (3-15 from downtown). Howard had seven turnovers.

WHAT’S NEXT: North Carolina returns to action against third-seeded Miami on Thursday night at the Barclay’s Center for a 9 p.m. tip. TV: ESPN. As for the Orange, it will be waiting until Sunday to learn its postseason destination.

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Wes Cheng
About Wes Cheng 2286 Articles
Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.