A quick take on Syracuse’s 69-65 overtime loss to Miami on Saturday afternoon in Coral Gables:
WHAT HAPPENED: After two free throws from Buddy Boeheim pulled SU to within two, Isaiah Wong’s long 3-pointer with 3:29 left in overtime gave the Hurricanes a 63-58 lead. Though a Jessie Edwards dunk would cut the lead to two points with three seconds left, Dejan Vasiljevic made two free throws to send the Orange to their 10th loss of ACC play. The Orange ended up in overtime because of Joe Girard III’s jumper from the free throw line with 1.5 seconds left in regulation. It was not a pretty offensive game to watch for either team. Both teams shot 36 percent from the field, though Miami did hit 10 3-pointers against SU’s porous zone. Meanwhile, the Orange shot 5-25 from 3, with Buddy Boeheim and Girard shooting a combined 4-20 from downtown. And the Orange, normally a good free throw shooting team, missed seven free throws.
ANALYSIS: Syracuse will be slotted as the sixth seed in the ACC Tournament, earning a single-bye. But short of winning the ACC Tournament, the Orange will not be in discussions for the NCAA Tournament. Not that this Syracuse team didn’t have its chances. Losses to Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Clemson, NC State, Florida State and now Miami came by a combined 18 points. Even if the Orange had split those close games, they would’ve ended up with a 20-11 record and a 13-7 ACC record. But that isn’t what happened this year, and SU finishes with a 17-14 overall record and 10-10 in conference play. Barring the Orange winning one of its postseason tournaments, they will finish with 16 losses, which is the most of any season in Jim Boeheim’s long tenure at Syracuse.
HERO: Wong and Vasiljevic combined for 35 points to lead the Hurricanes, while Marek Dolezaj (17 points, 7 rebounds) and Bourama Sidibe (10 rebounds) paced Syracuse.
ZERO: Elijah Hughes missed all of the second half with an undisclosed injury, and only had eight points. Between this game and SU’s loss to NC State, that may have been the difference between playing on the bubble and heading to the NIT. Girard may have shot SU into overtime, but he also shot Syracuse out of it, taking far too many “hero” 3-point shots.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse will play at Greensboro on Wednesday night at 9:30 p.m., awaiting the winner of the the 11th and 14th seeded game.