In what some called a must-win game for the Syracuse Orange, SU got out to a quick 4-0 start after its first two possessions.
But that 4-0 start was quickly halted by a 10-0 Miami run, and the Orange was forced to play catch-up after that, ultimately falling short and falling to Miami 62-57.
Davon Reed scored a team-high 10 points in the first half for the ‘Canes, who took a 36-28 lead into the break.
Tyler Lydon, who only attempted four shots in the season finale win over Georgia Tech, went 1-of-4 in the first half against the Hurricanes on Wednesday. John Gillon, who has been such an important piece for the Orange’s success all season, had more turnovers and fouls than points and assists in the first half.
Andrew White’s 13 first-half points led all scorers, but it was apparent the Orange needed much more out of everyone else in order to feel safe heading into Selection Sunday.
Taurean Thompson, who returned home to New York City, hit his first three shots in the first half and looked as if he was in vintage form. But he missed his next two, including a double-clutch 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Tyus Battle got things going for the Orange in the second half, hitting a 3-pointer to get SU within five. Miami then got an offensive rebound to build its lead back to seven, but that may have woke John Gillon up.
Gillon, who hadn’t scored a point yet, hit a 3-pointer on a pass from Tyler Lydon to get the game within four points.
A few minutes later, the Orange had took its first lead since early in the first half thanks to a Tyus Battle 3-pointer, 41-40.
Vasiljevic answered Battle’s 3 to regain the lead for the ‘Canes, 43-41.
Andrew White was doing all he could to keep the Orange in the game, as he continued to score on drives and free throws.
At the under-four media timeout, Syracuse trailed the ‘Canes, 53-50.
The Orange did all it could down the stretch. John Gillon hit a 3-pointer with 39.8 seconds left to cut Miami’s lead to 57-55.
Gillon, however, had a chance to tie the game with under three seconds to go — but his shot didn’t fall.
Miami won the battle of the boards, 31-26, and committed two less turnovers.
With its disappointing loss, Syracuse’s NCAA Tournament hopes remain in doubt and the Orange will now have to sweat out these next few days leading up to Selection Sunday.