Jim Boeheim

@WAERSports

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.

SU Athletics

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."

@WAERSports

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. 

SU Athletics

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.

@WAERSports

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.

The Syracuse Orange survived a second half scare from Virginia Tech and held on for a 68-66 win on Saturday in the opener of ACC play.  Here are five key takeaways from Syracuse's win that nearly wasn't.

Free-Throw Shooting

@WAERSports

The Hokie crowd erupted after Ron Patterson's two free throws clanked off the rim.  Suddenly, Syracuse's 22 point lead had dwindled down to two.  The Hokies, who couldn't buy a shot at times in the first half, couldn't miss in the final few minutes.  Virginia Tech had the momentum, the crowd behind them and, somehow, a one-possession game with four seconds left in the game.

Seth Goldberg (@sethgoldberg17)

If you ask Michael Gbinije to describe himself, he'd tell you he's a guard from Richmond, Va. But to the Orange, he's much more than that.

Gbinije is averaging 15.0 points over the past four games, and shoulders a lot of the team's ball handling responsibilities. He's also second on the team in assists per game, fourth in steals and tied for fourth in total rebounds.  

All while playing three positions.

It was another eye-opener for Syracuse's defense.  Except this time, it was a good thing.

After beating Long Beach State on Sunday, Jim Boeheim said his defense needed to play much better.   The Orange bounced back by holding Cornell to just 12 points in the first half on Wednesday night.

"We wanted to do a better job defensively, tonight," Boeheim said.   "I think we did."  

Pages