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Published: Sat, March 10, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Syracuse basketball loses to North Carolina (ACC Tournament): Brent Axe recap

Syracuse basketball loses to North Carolina (ACC Tournament): Brent Axe recap

Updates with new lead.

The No. 24 Hurricanes (22-8) have won four consecutive games by a total of eight points, including a road victory over the No. 12 Tar Heels on a Ja'Quan Newton last-second 3-point shot on February 27 at Chapel Hill, N.C.

The Blue Devils managed an 88-70 tournament win over Notre Dame on Thursday. It's a big-time game. They came to know the Tar Heels during different eras, but one thing was very much the same: Woody Durham. "My teammates are going to be ready". "Last year we didn't win enough road games". We think both teams will probably fare a bit better this March. The Tar Heels missed their first 13 shots. Outside of Grayson Allen, Duke is led by a star-studded freshman class that features likely lottery picks in Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr. Bagley scored 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting and pulled down 15 rebounds.

It's the 22nd meeting between the blue-blooded and colored rivals in the ACC Tournament, and second straight year they've seen each other in the semifinals. But when these two behemoths square off in Brooklyn, no urgent-care health clinic in the Metropolitan area would deny you a get-out-of-work sick note to watch them play Friday night.

"I've stopped saying it just because I didn't want to listen to people criticize me", Williams said.

Theo Pinson pinpointed the reason North Carolina had success attacking Syracuse's 2-3 zone. He has a lot to play for being in his final year, and that seniority could work against Duke's younger squad who are more apt to make mental mistakes.

The Tar Heels advance to the quarterfinals to face Miami on Thursday night. That helped propel them over UNC only a week ago.

An extended cold streak of about five minutes for North Carolina in the second half kept Syracuse within shouting distance for awhile.

Williams had turned to five reserves. The Tar Heels scored 36 points in the paint compared to 22 for Syracuse.

Woods' three-point play was followed by a Manley dunk, and the momentum carried over to the starters once they returned.

Williams had fun with the moment after the game.

Earlier in the season, North Carolina's success came and went with the performance of Joel Berry and Luke Maye. The Tar Heels then finished with a flourish and grabbed the halftime lead when Cameron Johnson was fouled by Walker while getting off a 60-foot heave to beat the first-half buzzer.

The wins set up Round 3 between the Blue Devils and Tar Heels on Friday (9 p.m. ET, ESPN) in the ACC semifinals, after the two teams split the regular-season series, with each team winning on its home court. The Blue Devils are second in the nation in Ken Pomeroy's offensive efficiency rankings.

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