UNC vs. Syracuse: Game preview, prediction and more

Thanks to a much-improved effort on Saturday, UNC escaped Miami (FL) with a 75-72 win that kept them atop the ACC.

RJ Davis dropped yet another 20-point game on an opponent, Cormac Ryan made a game-saving play to preserve a late lead, while Armando Bacot went arms up on the preceding possession to keep the Tar Heel (19-5, 11-2) lead.

Games aren’t typically decided until the second half, but North Carolina’s hot start (15-4 lead) gave it the breathing room it didn’t have against Clemson. The Tar Heels might’ve taken a page out of the Tigers’ book, as Clemson started last Tuesday on a 15-2 run.

UNC now turns its attention to Syracuse, a program who’s been playing .500 ball. The Orange (15-9, 6-7) have enjoyed impressive stretches, winning all five December games, but also experienced disappointing losses to Clemson and Boston College.

When North Carolina and Syracuse matched up on Saturday, Jan. 13 in Chapel Hill, it was the hosts who dominated in a 103-67 victory. Davis led three Tar Heel starters in double figures, while Jalen Washington (15 points) and Jae’Lyn Withers (10) produced big-time off the bench.

UNC has now developed into a contender, while the Orange are going to need an impressive run to make their first NCAA Tournament since 2021.

Key to victory for UNC

Feb 10, 2024; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Elliot Cadeau (2) drives to the basket against Miami Hurricanes guard Nijel Pack (24) during the first half at Watsco Center. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Plain and simple – the Tar Heels have to take care of the ball.

Elliot Cadeau played a solid game, scoring a career-high 19 points, but he also led all players with five turnovers.

Miami largely stayed in Saturday’s game because it converted off UNC turnovers. North Carolina turned the ball over 16 times, with the host Hurricanes scoring 22 points off them.

Something to watch

Feb 10, 2024; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Cormac Ryan (3) drives…


Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/unc-vs-syracuse-game-preview-130047993.html

Author : Tar Heels Wire

Publish date : 2024-02-12 13:00:47

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