Just prior to tipoff Saturday night, Jim Boeheim walked out of the locker room and onto the Carrier Dome court for the first time in 38 days, eliciting an eruption from the crowd of 26,811.
Boeheim offered a quick wave to the Syracuse faithful. Moments later, a fan yelled "We love you, Jim!" during the national anthem, leading to several more cheers in the crowd.
Boeheim had finally returned from a nine-game suspension. In his first game back, the Orange suffered an 84-73 loss to North Carolina.
In true Boeheim fashion, the head coach had several noteworthy things to say in his postgame press conference, which marked the first time he addressed the media since his suspension began. Here are four highlights from the press conference:
1. Taking a dig at the NCAA
When asked what his emotions were like in his return from the suspension, Boeheim had a simple answer.
"Same as always."
But he continued by taking a jab at the NCAA.
"I've coached 1,200 games. Oh, no, I've only coached 1,100," he said, referencing the NCAA's decision to vacate 108 of his wins. "Sorry. I forgot that."
That quote alone was enough to prove what Boeheim said was true — this was indeed the same Boeheim, who has developed a reputation for shrewd comments like that one.
2. Snippiness with reporters
Boeheim has never seemed to love talking to the media, but he seemed even colder toward the press on Saturday night than he usually is. He was particularly short with his answers to questions.
"Nothing," he said when asked what UNC did defensively on Michael Gbinije, who went just 3-of-13 from the field and 0-of-6 from 3-point range.
After that response, a long pause ensued. Several seconds later, Boeheim began to walk away.
"OK, thanks," he said as he left the podium. A reporter then asked him to stay.
"Well, either ask the questions or — let's go," Boeheim said.
Boeheim almost immediately returned to his curt manner.
"Whatever they were doing, I hope everybody does it," he said when asked how the Tar Heels were defending Trevor Cooney, who had a season-high 27 points.
"He did some good things," he said when asked about Dajuan Coleman's play.
"Well, we outrebounded one of the better teams in the country tonight, so I guess that means yes," he said when asked whether Syracuse can be a good rebounding team.
3. Dismissive of suspension questions
During the press conference, it became clear that Boeheim no longer wants to talk about his nine-game suspension.
"I'm done," he said, interrupting a reporter who began to ask about the suspension. "I'm only thinking about basketball. That's it. There will be no more."
Immediately after that, another reporter began to ask a similar question.
"There will be no more," Boeheim said, repeating himself. "I'm done."
4. Addressing Gbinije's struggles
Early in the press conference, a reporter asked Boeheim whether he was happy with how the team played despite the struggles of Gbinije, who, as the reporter estimated, didn't have the strong offensive showing he typically has.
"For us to win, he has to play well," Boeheim said of Gbinije. "And what you said is totally incorrect. He's played four games in the ACC. Look up the stats."
Through those four games, Gbinije is averaging 14 points per game but shooting only 29.3%. However, things would need to be much worse than that for the point guard to see a reduction in minutes.
"He can have a heart attack out there," Boeheim. "He's not coming out of the game."