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Syracuse 72 - Maryland 70: Cardiac ‘Cuse in Mid-season Form

Did you expect anything less?

NCAA Basketball: Maryland at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

After an absolutely epic PK80 tournament and feast week in college basketball, the Syracuse Orange and Maryland Terrapins got things started with the ACC/Big Ten Challenge from the Carrier Dome. The back-to-back National Champions of 2002 and 2003 met for the first time since both were members of the ACC in 2014 and this one didn’t disappoint. Ultimately, Cardiac ‘Cuse was in full bloom and won a close one 72-70.

The first half was a seesaw affair with both teams taking turns commanding the lead. The Orange did most of its damage in the paint while the Terps shot 41 percent from distance. Syracuse forced Maryland into 11 first half turnovers (Frank had five steals) and the Orange took a 36-35 lead into the break.

NCAA Basketball: Maryland at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

After the break, Frank continued to run the show with heady play. On the other side, Kevin Huerter got a barrage of threes to fall, launching from TJ Sorrentine land. When you have 300 family members and friends in attendance it’s expected that one shows off the range.

Neither team could quite take control down the stretch and Syracuse found itself in a close game against a tough opponent. With 1:40 to go and Syracuse clinging to a two point lead, it was Huerter who came down and nailed a triple to regain the lead.

NCAA Basketball: Maryland at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

With Syracuse having possession under 60 ticks to go, Frank took an inbounds pass and kicked to Tyus in the corner who knocked down a clutch triple, giving Syracuse a two-point cushion.

On the ensuing play, Maryland would turn the ball over and was forced to foul Tyus who knocked down both free throws, pushing the lead to four.

Maryland would then turn the ball over again but fortuitously fouled Paschal Chukwu who missed both free throws with under 15 seconds, leaving the door open. As you’d expect, Huerter got loose for a three-point bomb and connected, closing the Syracuse lead to one.

Syracuse found Tyus on a long inbounds pass who threw down a dunk all but closing things out. He finished as the high point man with 18. Frank put up gaudy numbers with 15 points, 10 assists, 7 steals and 5 boards while Oshae Brissett had a double-double of his own with 15 points and 13 boards. Huerter had 23 for Maryland.

Syracuse will now travel down to Miami to face off against Kansas. That game tips at 5:30 from American Airlines Arena (Hi, Dion).