SYRACUSE (AP) — Buddy Boeheim scored 26 to become a 1,000-point career scorer and Syracuse breathed some life into its NCAA Tournament hopes by holding on for a 72-70 win over North Carolina on Monday night.
The Orange were up 14 with 5:18 to play, 10 with less than two minutes to go and eight going into the final minute before it turned into a nail biter.
Twice in the last two minutes the Tar Heels tapped out a missed free throw and hit a 3-pointer for a four-point possession. The second time, when RJ Davis hit a 3, North Carolina was within 70-66 with 42.9 seconds left.
A second late turnover by Syracuse led to a Caleb Love layup to make it 70-68 with 19 seconds left. Joe Girard made 1 of 2 free throws for a three-point lead and the Orange fouled. However Love missed two free throws and Girard was fouled again. He again made 1 of 2 at 10.1 seconds for a 72-68 lead before the Tar Heels got a putback at the buzzer.
Quincy Guerrier added 18 points for Syracuse (14-8, 8-7 Atlantic Coast Conference), which had lost two straight. Leading scorer Alan Griffin (15.5 points) went 1 for 10, the make coming with 3:26 to play, but added two clutch free throws at 1:06.
Armando Bacot had 18 points and 15 rebounds for North Carolina (14-10, 9-6), which won the first meeting 81-75. Garrison Brooks scored 11 and Love 10. The Tar Heels were plus-20 in rebounding but had 20 turnovers, shot 38.2%, going 4 of 20 behind the arc, and were just 14 of 22 from the foul line.
Boeheim hit three 3-pointers during an 11-0 run to close the half for a 34-28 lead — the last 3 to reach 1,001 points for his career. Boeheim had five of his six 3s and 17 points before the break as the Orange went 7 of 17 from distance to the Tar Heels’ 0 for 9.
Syracuse wraps up the regular season Wednesday at home in a 5 p.m. start against Clemson. North Carolina closes against visiting Duke on Saturday.
SU falls to Ga. Tech
Moses Wright dunked his way to 31 points, tying his season high, and Georgia Tech strengthened its NCAA Tournament chances by beating Syracuse 84-77 on Saturday for the Yellow Jackets’ fourth consecutive win.
Wright scored 19 points and had six of his seven dunks in the second half when the Yellow Jackets (13-8, 9-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) were able to pull away from the Orange. Wright was 14-of-25 shooting with 16 rebounds, including nine on the offensive boards, in posting his fifth double-double in his last 10 games. The Yellow Jackets had 26 assists on 33 field goals.
A day after the NCAA overturned multiple sanctions levied against the Georgia Tech men’s basketball program via an appeal ruling, the Yellow Jackets took a needed step on the court in its quest to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 11 years.
Griffin had four 3-pointers and scored 26 points, Gerrier added 13 points and Boeheim, who had a combined 60 points in last two games, finished with 12 for Syracuse. Girard added 10 points.
Colgate earns No. 2 seed
Colgate has earned the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Patriot League tournament that is scheduled to begin on Wednesday.
The Raiders (11-1) carry a 10-game winning streak into the Patriot League tournament. They will host the winner Wednesday’s first round game between seventh-seeded Boston University (6-10) and 10th-seeded Lehigh (4-10) on Saturday.
Navy is the top seed in the tournament with a 15-2 overall mark and 12-1 Patriot League record. Lafayette clinched the No. 3 seed followed by Army, American and Bucknell. Holy Cross is the No. 8 seed and Loyal Maryland is the No. 9 seed.
All games will be available on ESPN+.