Jim Boeheim

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  Syracuse University suffered sanctions that could cripple basketball recruiting and competitiveness for years, after the NCAA announced the result of a years-long investigation today.  The top sanctions include the loss of three scholarships for four years in the Men's Basketball Program.  Coach Jim Boeheim will also be suspended nine games next season.

MORE DETAILS THIS AFTERNOON DURING ALL THINGS CONSIDERED AND ON WAER.ORG

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Syracuse kept chipping away at Pittsburgh's nine point lead, turning another disappointing showing into a dramatic comeback.

But like so often this season for the Orange, it came up just a little bit short.

A last minute comeback was derailed by a illegal screen call on Rakeem Christmas with 35.1 seconds left and the Pittsburgh Panthers escaped the Carrier Dome with a 65-61 win to sweep the season series and bolster their NCAA Tournament resume.

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Welcome back, Rakeem Christmas.

Christmas bounced back from his worst two-game stretch of the season and scored 29 points against No. 12 Louisville and had eight rebounds and four blocks.  It helped Syracuse get its first win of the season against a top 25 opponent, a 69-59 victory in the Carrier Dome on Wednesday night.  Coming into the game, the Orange was 0-4 against ranked teams this season.

"I was just getting the ball in the post and getting to the basket," Christmas said.  "We were wearing down their defense just getting to the basket and drawing a lot of fouls."

Syracuse University has self-imposed a one-year, postseason ban for the men's basketball 2014-15 season, according to a press release from Chancellor Kent Syverud on Wednesday evening.

The ban is part of an ongoing investigation between the university and the NCAA's Committee on Infractions.  It includes the ACC Tournament, the NCAA Tournament or the NIT.  The university said it told the NCAA about the ban before making the announcement to the public.

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Michael Gbinije froze in his place when he wasn't able to blow past Devin Wilson, who draped all over him on the biggest possession of the game.  But like Syracuse, Gbinije didn't panic as he used his pivot foot to slide to his right and create enough separation to put up the soft floater that would decide the game.

The Syracuse Orange, improbably, stormed back late in the second half to stun the Virginia Tech Hokies and a jubilant Carrier Dome crowd.

"This comeback ranks up there with any that I've ever been a part of," Jim Boeheim said.

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Not even another herculean effort by Trevor Cooney could save Syracuse this time.

The junior guard scored 28 points, but North Carolina pulled away in the second half for a 93-83 win in Chapel Hill over Syracuse (14-7, 5-3 ACC).  

"Trev shot the lights out the first half," Michael Gbinije said.  "It's tough. I thought we played our offense very well today and they just played better."

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Syracuse missed its chance at a double-digit point comeback by missing at the free throw line.

Rakeem Christmas scored 18 of his 23 points in the second half, almost single-handedly willing his team back against Miami.  The Hurricanes weren't able to stop him in the paint so they intentionally fouled Christmas to put him at the line with four seconds left and the Orange down by three.

Kaleb Joseph quickly re-adjusted the ball from his right side to the left when the clear path to the basket was suddenly impeded by 6-foot-10 Sidy Djitte.  Syracuse's point guard managed to avoid his defender and bank a soft floater off the glass.

It was the first basket for Joseph, who missed his first two shots of the game.

It was the first field goal from Syracuse that didn't come from Rakeem Christmas. 

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Syracuse's first two ACC wins were filled with late drama, nail biting leads and last second shots that determined the outcome of the games.

The third one just featured a dominant performance from Trevor Cooney.

The junior guard scored a season-high 28 points, Rakeem Christmas notched his fifth double-double of the season and the Orange beat the Florida State Seminoles, 70-57, in the Carrier Dome on Sunday night.

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Jim Boeheim is one of three coaches who will be honored in May by ESPN broadcaster Dick Vitale, during an annual fundraising event for pediatric cancer research.

The 10th Annual Dick Vitale Gala will include Boeheim as well as Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith and Florida State's football coach, Jimbo Fisher.  The event awards successful coaches who have also shown a commitment to fighting cancer.

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