• 48°

Hughes, Syracuse roll past UNC, 81-53, in ACC 2nd round

Season over for the Tar Heels ...

North Carolina guard Cole Anthony drives between Syracuse forward Bourama Sidibe (34) and forward Marek Dolezaj during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Wednesday, March 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown)

By AARON BEARD AP Basketball Writer
GREENSBORO (AP) — Elijah Hughes scored 27 points and Syracuse dominated the opening half to build a big lead on the way to beating North Carolina 81-53 in Wednesday’s second round of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.
Hughes had 18 points by the break, including a contested jumper in the final seconds to cap Syracuse’s 15-0 run to close the half. That pushed Syracuse to a 43-22 lead, a margin that never dipped below 16 in the second half as the Orange (18-14) emphatically ended a nine-game losing streak to the Tar Heels (14-19).
Buddy Boeheim added 17 points for Syracuse, which jumped to a 7-0 lead in the first 72 seconds and never looked back. The Orange finished the game shooting 47% and scored 27 points off 18 turnovers by UNC.
Garrison Brooks scored 18 points for the 14th-seeded Tar Heels, who missed 23 of 31 shots — including all seven 3-point tries — in the opening half as Syracuse took over. Potential one-and-done point guard Cole Anthony, averaging 19.1 points, managed just five points on 2-for-10 shooting.
Even with a home-state crowd backing them, the Tar Heels got as close only as 57-41 in the second half on Leaky Black’s three-point play at the 11:51 mark. Boeheim responded with an immediate 3-pointer, ending a feeble rally that turned out to be the Tar Heels’ best of the night as Syracuse eventually pushed the margin to 30 late.
The Tar Heels finished the game shooting 33%, including 2 for 16 on 3-pointers.
The game was the last of four second-rounders Wednesday — and the last with most fans in attendance.
The ACC has announced it will not allow the general public into tournament games starting Thursday amid concerns about the spread of the new coronavirus that has become a global pandemic.
That means the quarterfinals — featuring No. 4 Florida State, No. 10 Duke, No. 15 Louisville and No. 17 Virginia — will take place with only essential tournament personnel, teams, player guests, limited school administrators and credentialed media present.
BIG PICTURE
UNC: The Tar Heels entered this tournament as an oddity, a team that reached as high as No. 5 in the AP Top 25 poll in November only to own the lowest seed in this week’s tournament after a dizzying array of injuries, blown leads and close losses. They had won four of five coming in, including a win at Syracuse on Feb. 29 and Tuesday’s first-round romp against Virginia Tech. But UNC shot terribly, was sloppy with the ball and never slowed Hughes to put itself in an early insurmountable hole that capped the first losing season of Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams’ 32-year career as a head coach.
Syracuse: The Orange entered the tournament with uncertain NCAA Tournament prospects, but Jim Boeheim’s club will get a chance to earn a marquee win to help its case by advancing past a team that had given it fits. Syracuse earned its first win against UNC since January 2014.
UP NEXT
Syracuse: The Orange will meet 15th-ranked Louisville, the tournament’s 3-seed, in Thursday’s quarterfinals.
___
More AP college basketball: http://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25
___
Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap

Comments

Ask Us

Ask us: Will masks be required in Rowan County polling locations?

Elections

Political Notebook: Tillis, Cunningham differ on when to fill SCOTUS vacancy

Local

Local state trooper, firefighter returns home after Army deployment

Local

Blast from the past: Concordia Lutheran Church opens time capsule from previous century

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man charged with damaging video camera, tresspassing

Crime

North Carolina man faces over 300 sex-related charges

News

Coastal flooding along Outer Banks closes roads

Nation/World

GOP hopeful Supreme Court battle will help shift election

Education

‘Better chance of succeeding’: Moody, colleagues reflect on tenure, retirement

News

Collecting garbage: Locals work to beautify High Rock Lake during Clean Sweep

Coronavirus

Salisbury man grateful parents’ story has impacted many

News

Celtics take big lead and hold on to top Heat 117-106

Business

Downtown Salisbury ‘moving swiftly’ with developers interested in Empire Hotel

Business

From fantasy to fact, Cherry builds a Hobbit House at his Treesort

Business

Biz Roundup: CSP seeking to hire 100 new employees for plant expansion

Coronavirus

Police, sheriff focus on education in addressing mask-wearing complaints

Education

Candidates for East Area school board seat have widely different views on renewal

Kannapolis

Cannon Mills’ whistle sounds again, brings nostalgia with it

Coronavirus

UPDATED: Outbreak at jail annex over; new cases emerge at Kannapolis facility

Elections

In Senate race, Tillis calibrates ties to Trump

News

5 Charlotte officers recommended for dismissal after death in custody

Elections

Trump, Biden hit unlikely battleground state of Minnesota

College

Maui Invitational moving to Asheville during pandemic

News

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87