Syracuse Blows a Lead Against Miami Again, Falls 75-72
Syracuse’s regular season came to a bitter end Saturday, as it collapsed against Miami en route to a 75-72 loss. WAER’s Liam Griffin details what went wrong and the history that came out of this game.
In a regular season full of lows for Syracuse Men’s Basketball, what better way to cap it off with perhaps the lowest low of all. The Orange held a 44-26 lead early in the 2nd half, a lead that they also held against Miami back on January 5th. Surely SU didn’t blow it again, right?
Wrong. Syracuse dropped a 75-72 heartbreaker on senior day, blowing an 18-point lead to Miami for the second time in two months. Jordan Miller, who gave the Orange problems all day, hit a layup with 13 seconds left to give the Hurricanes a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Joe Girard missed a jumper on the other end; Miami got the rebound and hit two free throws. Jimmy Boeheim heaved up a three to tie it at the buzzer, but it was for naught.
“I’m really disappointed for our seniors, they played a great game,” Head Coach Jim Boeheim said. “We played as well as we could play but we can’t handle their pressure. It’s embarrassing and it shouldn’t happen.”
That pressure Boeheim mentioned really got to SU late in the game. With SU up 5 with just over 50 seconds left, Frank Anselem got tied up with Miami defender Charlie Moore. Jump ball. The possession arrow was in favor of the Hurricanes, and they made a jumper to make it a one-possession game. On the next possession, Joe Girard dribbled it out of bounds off his knee. UM went the other way and hit a second chance layup to cut it to one. Mere seconds later, Cole Swider turned it over, and another second-chance layup gave Miami a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
Syracuse made history during the game, but it isn’t history it wanted to make. With the loss, Syracuse sealed its first losing season since 1969, and with that, the first losing season in the Jim Boeheim era. SU’s head man refused to answer any questions reflecting on the season postgame, wishing to save it for a later date.
Despite the loss, Buddy Boeheim’s performance in his final home game was nothing short of spectacular. The senior guard led Syracuse with 30 points while shooting 5-9 from beyond the arc. It was Buddy’s second 30-point game of the season, and the fifth time he’s made five or more three-pointers. The Fayetteville native also performed well enough to capture the ACC regular season scoring title.
Two other seniors who saw action didn’t exactly perform well.
Jimmy Boeheim had 14 points, but he was a mess shooting the ball. The Cornell transfer was just 4-16 from the field, including 0-2 from range. It was the fourth worst shooting percentage on the season for Jimmy.
After a career-high 36 points in Chapel Hill on Monday, Cole Swider also took a step back. The Villanova transfer scored just 6 points on 2-9 shooting and had a key turnover late in the game that led to Miami taking the lead.
It’s ACC Tournament time! Syracuse slots in as the 9-seed, and they’ll take on No. 8 Florida State on Wednesday. The Orange and Seminoles split their season series; SU took game one 63-60 in Tallahassee on December 4, but FSU got its revenge, winning 76-71 at the Dome on January 15.
Four words: win or go home. That’s the mantra for Syracuse as it enters the ACC Tournament. To make the NCAA Tournament, Syracuse must win four games in four days, something that hasn’t been done at the ACC Tournament since Duke in 2017. But one loss, and the season is dead. So, can Syracuse pull a miracle run out of nowhere? Or, will its trip to Brooklyn be one that sums up the entire season: disappointing.
Tipoff Wednesday is set for 12:00 p.m., but WAER’s coverage begins with GZA Countdown to Tipoff at 11:30 p.m.