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Orange Defense Ruins Dome Party Against UNC

There’s a lot to digest from Syracuse’s 92-79 loss to North Carolina on Saturday afternoon. With so many things scheduled to take place, the game was nearly an afterthought 30 minutes prior to tipoff. 

Pre-game hype

  • Final home game of the 2019-20 season and senior day for Orange guard Shaun Belbey
  • Last men’s basketball game in the Dome as currently configured 
  • Tom Brady, Julian Edelman and Jimmy Fallon sitting courtside with Adam Weitsman
  • Five-star 2022 commit Dior Johnson in attendance, among other high-priority recruits
  • Orange legend John Wallace gets his jersey retired at halftime

Three major takeaways

  • Redshirt-junior Bourama Sidibe continues to grow

Ever since Jim Boeheim went on ESPN Rochester and said he’s done a bad job of recruiting physical centers, Sidibe has done his best to challenge that statement. Sidibe (17points, 15 rebounds) is playing his best basketball of the season. Not only has he become a more effective defender, but the big man has elevated his offensive game. He’s playing with a level of physicality that we haven’t seen him play with in his Orange career. Hats off to Sidibe, who has silenced the critics in recent games. 

“We battled as hard as we could,” Head coach Jim Boeheim said after the game. “I thought Bourama was tremendous.”

  • Carolina really has SU’s number

The Tar Heels have beaten the Orange nine straight times. What more can you say? Sure, Jim Boeheim beat Roy Williams when it mattered most (2003), but Williams’ teams have found ways to carve the 2-3 zone in recent seasons. This year, likely one-and-done guard Cole Anthony shredded the zone, scoring 25 points (7-11 3FG). He was fun to watch and showed why he’s destined for the lottery this summer. 

Overall, the Tar Heels shot 42% from three-point range. Williams has proven he can beat the 2-3 zone and he did it again on Saturday.

  • No more Orange momentum


After Syracuse beat Pittsburgh on Wednesday, a certain Joe Lunardi quote got Orange nation thinking: is there still a path to the bubble? This loss eliminates all hope at an at-large bid. The Orange have to find a way to bounce back and pick up two wins next week to get them going in the right direction before the conference tournament. Syracuse has now lost seven home games this year.

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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