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WATCH: North Carolina, Syracuse ends in wild, controversial fashion

Andrew Graham01/24/23
Article written by:On3 imageAndrew Graham

AndrewEdGraham

North Carolina v Syracuse
SYRACUSE, NEW YORK - JANUARY 24: Caleb Love #2 of the North Carolina Tar Heels is called for a foul on Judah Mintz #3 of the Syracuse Orange during the first half of the game at JMA Wireless Dome on January 24, 2023 in Syracuse, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)

Trailing by a point with fewer than 30 seconds to play against North Carolina at home, Syracuse freshman point guard Judah Mintz drove into the lane with a chance to give the Orange a lead. Instead, he picked up a Flagrant 1 foul.

The officials initially called an offensive foul on the floor as Mintz bowled over North Carolina defender RJ Davis. But after replay review, the officials deemed that Mintz catching Davis in the jaw with his elbow was worthy of Flagrant 1 designation, giving the Tar Heels two shots and the ball — and, virtually, the win.

And as Flagrant 1 fouls go, this was a questionable one.

Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim clearly didn’t agree with the call. As the broadcast showed him discussing the call with official Roger Ayers, it’s not difficult to read Boeheim’s lips.

What do you mean? That’s bullsh*t. Just call the game,” Boeheim appeared to say. “That’s bullsh*t.”

In the end, the extra possession was enough for the Tar Heel to hold on for a 72-68 win.

Hubert Davis said ‘a number of things’ stood out about Syracuse ahead of matchup

 Leading into the game, Tar Heel’s head coach Hubert Davis was asked what one thing stands out or worries him the most about their matchup against the Orange.

“Well I mean it’s a number of things, from a defensive standpoint they do a terrific job of protecting the paint, contesting shots, just making it very difficult to find rhythm shots on the offensive end,” Davis said “And so at the end of the day, we’re going to have to make some shots, we’re gonna have to make some threes. So our ability to shoot the basketball is going to be huge against Syracuse.”

Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone defense has been an effective staple for years at Syracuse, and it’s particularly effective with the individual talent they have this season. The Orange roster has the ACC’s blocks and steals leader in center Jesse Edwards who’s averaging 2.8 blocks per game and freshman guard Judah Mintz who’s averaging two steals per game.

Syracuse’s defense may be their calling card, but their offense is also a force to be reckon with, which Davis also spoke about on Monday.

“Defensively they’ve got some real gifted and talented players that not only can score, but they can create shots in one-on-one situations. And so for us to be able to defend, defend without fouling, rebound the basketball, and allow us to get out in transition I think that’s gonna be huge for us,” Davis said.