Syracuse Gets A Scare But Advances
UNC-Asheville gave Syracuse all it could handle, but the Orange survived the second round with a 72-65 win.
The Bulldogs lead by as many as seven in the first half and held a 34-30 advantage at the break.
Scoop Jardine sparked the comeback with a big 3-ball in the opening minutes of the second half followed by two fast break lay-ins. Jardine finished with 11.
James Southerland hit 3 of 5 from long range to lead the team with 15 points and eight boards while Dion Waiters and Kris Joseph each had a dozen. As a team, Syracuse was awful from 3-point range but refused to stop shooting them - at one point 'Cuse was 3 of 20 from deep (15%) ending the game 5 of 23 (21%).
Fab Melo's presence was clearly missed on the defensive end, but the Orange out-rebounded the Bulldogs 33-31. Melo's replacement, Rakeem Christmas and Baye Keita, combined for 10 points on 5-of-8 from the floor and eight boards.
No. 1 Syracuse will play the eight-seeded Kansas St. on Saturday.