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Four takeaways from Syracuse’s ACC Tournament win over North Carolina

Syracuse snaps the losing streak against North Carolina

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team handled the North Carolina Tar Heels on Wednesday night by a final score of 81-53 in the ACC Tournament Second Round. The win moves Syracuse to 18-14 on the season.

The win also marked Syracuse’s first in Greensboro and the team’s first victory on a neutral court in 2019-20.

Four starters scored in double-figures for Jim Boeheim. Syracuse shot 46.7 percent from the floor while North Carolina shot 33.3 percent from the field and 12.5 percent from 3-point land. The Syracuse 2-3 zone forced 18 turnovers.

With that, we get to the takeaways.

Streak is snapped

Prior to Wednesday night, North Carolina owned a nine-game winning streak against Syracuse. That represented the longest all-time winning streak over Syracuse by a single opponent.

The Syracuse win snaps the losing streak to UNC and marks the first victory over the Tar Heels since 2014, the Orange’s inaugural year in the ACC.

NCAA Basketball: ACC Tournament-Syracuse vs North Carolina Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

15-0 run to end the half

Syracuse jumped out to an early lead over North Carolina and held the lead for the entire game. The Orange jumped out to an 11 point lead with just six minutes into the contest, but UNC made a run at Syracuse just prior to the half.

Two free throw from Leaky Black cut Syracuse’s lead to four at the 6:47 mark. After a pair of Quincy Guerrier buckets and a Garrison Brooks layup, Syracuse would go on a 15-0 run to end the half. Guerrier and Sidibe got it going inside, Buddy Boeheim made a mid-range jumper and Joe Girard knocked down a three. Then Hughes capped the run by making two straight jumpers to close the half.

Equally as important? The Orange front-court of Guerrier, Hughes and Bourama Sidibe all avoided picking up a third foul in that stretch. Junior forward Marek Dolezaj was already sidelined with three fouls during the run and each of the other front-court players had two.

No Syracuse player fouled out in the game.

NCAA Basketball: ACC Tournament-Syracuse vs North Carolina Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Orange hang with UNC on the glass

North Carolina ranked No. 2 in the country coming into the night as the Tar Heels average 41.9 rebounds per contest.

Rebounding is always difficult out of the 2-3 zone, but Syracuse hung with Carolina on the glass on Wednesday night. North Carolina won the rebounding battle 42-38, but a four rebound deficit is a solid effort for Syracuse.

SU was able to mitigate early foul trouble as its front-court players came up big on the boards. Guerrier grabbed nine rebounds in total, with most of his damage coming in the first half. Hughes hauled in seven boards of his own. But nobody was more valuable on the glass than Sidibe. The junior big man recorded a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds.

Last game with fans

On Wednesday, in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, the NCAA announced that it would not allow fans to attend NCAA Tournament games this year. Subsequently, prior to tipoff between Syracuse and North Carolina, the ACC announced that beginning on Thursday, Mar. 12, only essential personnel will be allowed to attend the remaining ACC Tournament games. That includes media and student-athlete guests. Thus, the night cap between Syracuse and UNC marked the last game with fans in attendance for the 2020 ACC Tournament.

Barring any changes, Syracuse is scheduled to take on Louisville in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals at 9:30 p.m. ET.