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Syracuse vs. UNC: 26,000 Fans Expected, Babers to Make Appearance

The Orange and Tar Heels will tip off in the Carrier Dome at 8 p.m.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse plays host to No. 6 North Carolina on Saturday in head coach Jim Boeheim's return from his nine-game suspension, making it an especially anticipated matchup.

According to, at least 26,000 fans are expected to attend the game. That's substantially fewer attendees than last season's contest against Duke, which drew a crowd of 35,446, tying the record the previous season's matchup with Duke set. However, it's worth noting that with SU still on winter break, fewer students will be able to attend the UNC game. Tuesday's game against Clemson drew only 16,305 fans, the fewest at a conference game in 15 years, SU's Brian Higgins said.

Saturday's game will also include an appearance by new Syracuse head football coach Dino Babers, who will "address" the crowd at halftime. Babers was hired on Dec. 5 and introduced at a press conference on Dec. 7.

The Orange and Tar Heels will tip off in the Carrier Dome at 8 p.m. Syracuse, having lost its first three ACC games, will look to shock the college basketball world and earn a much-needed win. After starting the season 6-1 under Boeheim, the Orange went 4-5 in his absence.