Teams: Syracuse Orange (18-14, 10-8) vs. UNC-Greesnboro Spartans (25-9, 14-4)
Day & Time: Tuesday, March 14, 7 p.m. ET
Venue: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
Line: -12.5, Syracuse
Radio: Syracuse IMG Network, WAER 88.3, Sirius 93/XM 193
UNC Greensboro Blog: Mid-Major Madness
Rivalry: 3-0, Syracuse
Current Streak: 3, Orange (duh.)
First Meeting: The Orangemen wanted to prove that there are colder and more desolate places than both Syracuse AND Greensboro, so the teams tipped off in Anchorage Alaska during the 1996 regular season. Todd Burgan and Jason Cipolla had 16 points apiece as 12th-ranked SU pulled off the 73-56 victory. After the game, Jim Boeheim said playing the game in Alaska had no value. Anchorage residents started up an AOL chat room about it.
Last Meeting: Hakim Warrick led Syracuse to a home win over UNC-Greensboro, scoring 23 points en route to a resounding 93-65 victory in 2002. The Orangemen won the national title that year. After beating Kansas in the Final Four in New Orleans, Jim said there was no value in playing the game in Greensboro. Not a soul argued with him, and many wondered what point he was making at the time. Little did they know...
Head Coaches: SU: Jim Boeheim (41st Year, 1,003-356); UNC-Greensboro: Wes Miller (6th Year, 85-101)
Head Coach Bio: Wes Miller is a Greensboro native (of course he is...), and he played at James Madison for a year before transferring to North Carolina to finish out his playing career. He’d end up walking on at UNC, then eventually becoming a starter and writing a book about the whole thing.
Wes played in London for a year as a pro, which is baffling. He was right back in NC in 2008, taking an assistant job at High Point, then Elon shortly after, and UNC-Greensboro after that. In 2011, he took over as Spartans coach.
Since he arrived, this is the first time the team has topped .500. They did, however, make the CBI Quarterfinals last season.
Last Year: UNC-Greensboro went 15-19 (tie for fifth in the Southern Conference), and somehow got invited to the CBI. After beating Houston Baptist in the first round, they fell to Ohio on the road next.
Last Game: Despite beating East Tennessee State twice during the regular season, the third time was not the charm for the Spartans in the SoCon championship. UNCG shot poorly all game, with the entire offense running through R.J. White and Francis Alonso (they scored 51 out of the team’s 74 points).
"Fear Me, I've Killed Hundreds of Timelords": Alonso can flat-out score, but it’s White and James Dickey who should concern far more. Both crash the boards with aplomb, and having both out on the floor together could create some matchup problems for Syracuse and force DaJuan Coleman or Tyler Roberson onto the floor for extended minutes. That harms the SU offense more than we’d like. Still, can’t let them abuse us for easy points inside.
If Syracuse Wins: “Great”... see you soon, Monmouth or Ole Miss.
If Syracuse Loses: Those Greensboro jokes are never going away. Ever.
Fun Fact No. 1: Jim Boeheim compared a small, North Carolina city to the country’s largest city and people got up in arms. Greensboro’s been thirsty for press since last Wednesday, and the NIT wanted to quench that insatiable lust for an orange-tinged beverage.
Fun Fact No. 2: Greensboro has hosted the ACC Tournament a record 27 times. That sounds like this crazy high number, until you realize that other cities (Charlotte, Raleigh) in North Carolina have hosted a combined 25 times. The tournament’s only been in Greensboro five times in the last 11 years.