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How Can Syracuse Beat North Carolina?

Courtesy of The Chicago Tribune

Roy Williams and his Tar Heels just topped number 11 Florida State. It was Williams’ 900th win, an accomplishment only a true legendary coach can reach. He now gets ready to travel up to Syracuse to face another legendary coach in a game Syracuse hopes can serve as a momentum shifter heading toward the ACC tournament. Here’s how Syracuse beats North Carolina:

Beat Them Inside:

No doubt this will be difficult for an SU team that struggles when it comes to bigs, but that’s the answer to a victory. In UNC’s last loss to Marquette, 6’11’’ Dawson Garcia owned the paint. The Golden Eagles’ center put up 24 points with 11 rebounds, outshining Garrison Brooks in the victory. If the Orange are to top UNC they’ll have to tweak the game plan a bit. We’re used to seeing this team jack up threes all game with occasional isolation play that ends up in a drawn foul or missed layup, if Syracuse wants a win they’ll have to play to UNC’s weaknesses rather than their own strengths.

Don’t let Garrison Brooks Own the Glass:

Last season, Garrison Brooks was unreal, just about 17 points per game along with 8.5 boards made the Tar Heels a great team. This year, without Cole Anthony to facilitate, those numbers have regressed, but Brooks is still a beast on the glass. UNC rebounds better than most, the Tar Heels are currently 3rd in the nation in terms of total rebound per game. If the Orange win this one they won’t let UNC dominate them on the glass. When Syracuse loses the rebounding battle this season things don’t turn out well, in games they fail to grab 30 rebounds the Orange are 2-5 this season. It’s pretty simple, in college basketball rebounds win games.

Depth Must Show Up:

This SU team has more depth than those of the past. We’re not used to seeing more than a few guys come off the bench, this season things are different. Syracuse has the ability to throw a multitude of guys out onto the court, if they can make a real difference SU will have a chance in this one. We know Kadary Richmond will get minutes, but if guys like Robert Braswell, Jesse Edwards and John Bol Ajak can play to their highest potential this will really be a game.

It doesn’t look like Syracuse will be dancing anywhere in March, but that doesn’t mean Coach Boeheim’s squad can’t finish the season strong. The Orange play the Tar Heels tonight at 7:00 P.M. inside the Carrier Dome. 

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