Syracuse Basketball

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The rematch at the Petersen Events Center came with almost all of the same drama, clutch shooting and questionable officiating as in last season's matchup, one that ended in Tyler Ennis' game-winning shot.

But this time, Pittsburgh flipped the script.

Jamel Artis' contested 3-pointer didn't come at the buzzer, but it gave the Panthers a comfortable five point lead with 30 seconds to play, enough to prevent an encore from last year's last second theatrics against the Orange.

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."

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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.

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The stakes weren't quite as high as in Boston College's last trip to the Carrier Dome, a night that ended Syracuse's undefeated record and No. 1 ranking in an instant.

But this time, the final score was quite a bit different, too.

And this time, it only took 40 minutes.

The Orange avenged its overtime loss from last February by beating the Eagles, 69-61, in convincing fashion on Tuesday night.  Michael Gbinije scored a team-high 17 points and had four assists, giving the beleaguered Orange a much-needed win.

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.

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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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The rules dictate that one team has to win.

And somehow, Georgia Tech still had one last chance to do just that, despite shooting just 28 percent on the night and missing every field goal attempt during the last 8:51 of the game.

Instead, Chris Bolden's wide-open three flailed off the rim and Quinton Stephens' put back attempt pinballed off the bottom of the backboard.  It was the only appropriate ending to a night of offensive futility, a game that Syracuse ended up winning, 46-45, in Hank McCamish Pavilion.

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

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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.

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