Stop me if you've heard this one before: the Syracuse Orange had an opportunity tonight to pull off a road upset, but faltered down the stretch and suffered a disappointing loss.
In similar fashion to December losses at Michigan and at Villanova, the Orange led late in the second half on Monday but watched its lead dissipate in the final minutes, as the North Carolina Tar Heels topped Syracuse 93-83 (a deceiving final score) at the Dean Smith Center.
Marcus Paige led the way for the Tar Heels, scoring 22 points and going 4-of-7 from three-point range. Brice Johnson went a perfect 6-of-6 from the field and grabbed 11 rebounds.
For the Orange, Rakeem Christmas scored 22 points and had 12 rebounds, while Michael Gbinije had 16 points and five assists. Trevor Cooney scored a team-high 28 points but needed 26 shots to get there.
The Tar Heels dominated on the glass all night, outrebounding the Orange 42-27. North Carolina also shot 56.3 percent from beyond the arc and held SU to a 29.2 percent clip in the same department. Syracuse did force 20 turnovers, if you're looking for a silver lining.
Syracuse is now 14-7 overall and 5-3 in ACC play. The Orange will get some time off before battling the Virginia Tech Hokies next Tuesday night at the Carrier Dome. Tipoff is scheduled for 9:00 p.m.