Syracuse hosted Miami in the last matchup of the regular season, and Senior Day at the Dome. Buddy Boeheim led the Orange with 30 points on 8-17 shooting but the Orange couldn’t hold a late lead and collapsed against Miami, 75-72.
The Orange now finish 15-16 in the regular season, the worst record in coach Jim Boeheim’s coaching career. Here are the key takeaways from the regular season finale:
Late game turnovers led to Syracuse collapse
With 1:06 left in the game, Miami went on a 10-1 run and took a 3 point lead with under 3 seconds left. A last second heave by Jimmy Boeheim that was short and concluded the Orange collapse. Standing on the court in his final Dome game, senior Buddy Boeheim walked off the court with a stunned on his face.
The Orange led by as many as 7 points in the closing minute, but sloppy turnovers and SU’s lack of ability to withstand Miami’s full court pressure led to Syracuse cough up the lead.
SU turned the ball over three times in the final minute, including Frank Anselem, who was trapped in the corner without a ball handler in sight.
“At the end of the day we have to be better under pressure” head coach Jim Boeheim said. “We played a great game, we wanted to make them go inside and we did. We played as well as we could and we couldn’t handle their pressure. But we should be able to… it’s embarrassing and it should not happen.”
Syracuse only had one more total turnovers (11) than Miami, but it was the timing of the turnovers happened that hurt SU the most.
Syracuse did not have any depth
Jimmy Boeheim, Buddy Boeheim and Joe Girard III all played 40 minutes against Miami. The only player to play significant minutes off the bench was Anselem (25). John Bol Ajak also made a two minute cameo.
With Benny Williams out for the remainder of the season with a lower body injury, and Symir Torrence still recovering from a laceration that required stitches, SU had its depth sapped. That’s on top of Jesse Edwards fracturing his wrist and being out since mid-February.
Edwards’ absence was particular noticeable, as the Orange had no answer to defend the back side lob in the zone. Miami attacked the paint down the stretch with little ease which was a main component of their comeback.
Magic number for ACC Tournament is 2
The Orange will be the 9 seed in the ACC Tournament and will play in the second round on Wednesday against Florida State at noon. Syracuse and FSU split their two games in the regular season, with each time winning on the opposing team’s floor.
Syracuse must win at least two games to finish with a .500 record and qualify for the postseason. But as the No. 9 seed, Syracuse would not only need to beat Florida State, but also Duke, who finished as the No. 1 seed. Syracuse was routed by Duke in both of their regular season matchups.
“I think we are a top team in this league because besides Duke we have played every team to the wire,” Buddy Boeheim said. “We can make a run, there is no doubt. We are a good team and we are going to go down there with confidence because we have nothing to lose.”