In their last regular season game as a unit, the Syracuse Orange (18-13, 10-8) played like the team that fans dreamt about before the season started.
The Orange defeated the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (17-14, 8-10) 90-61 at the Carrier Dome on Saturday behind leading scorer Andrew White III's career best 40 points. The Nebraska transfer celebrated his senior night honors by missing just one of his nine shots from beyond the arc.
Syracuse started the game off strong, a rare occurrence for this year's Orange team. The Orange got off to a 16-4 run by making their first four shots from deep. The team as a whole made more than half of their 3-point attempts. Taurean Thompson even got in the fun, making his third 3-pointer of the year early in the game.
Boeheim's squad didn't trail for a single second in Saturday's game. The only scare for the Orange was their slow start to open the second half. The Yellow Jackets started the half on a 9-0 run but Andrew White III shut them down by making two consecutive 3's, just 6 of his 29 second half points.
It wasn't just White III's strong play that gives Syracuse fans hope going into the postseason. John Gillon, also celebrating his final game at the Dome, had ten assists on the night, which usually means good things for the Orange. Syracuse is 8-0 this year when Gillon has eight or more assists.
Freshman phenom Tyus Battle also made a big contribution, chipping in 22 points on the night. The young guard enters the postseason playing as confidently as we have seen him play in an Orange uniform. Battle is shooting 50% from the field in his last three games, including 44% from deep.
The Orange now head into the ACC tournament with momentum and a first-round bye. This means that they will face the Miami Hurricanes (20-10, 10-8) in the second round of the ACC tournament on Wednesday, March 8th. The Orange defeated Miami by 15 points earlier this year.
A win would be the first ACC tournament victory for Syracuse. The Orange were bounced last year in their first ever ACC tournament game against the Pittsburgh Panthers.
The winner of Syracuse and Miami will play ACC leader North Carolina in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament.