Recap: Syracuse vs. UNC-Asheville
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Syracuse can breathe a sigh of relief.
James Southerland scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half and the Orange avoided a dubious distinction by edging UNC Asheville, 72-65, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Never has a 16th seed beaten a No. 1 seed. The Bulldogs (24-10), on Thursday, put a scare into Syracuse (32-2), the East Region's top seed. But the Orange prevailed and will next face eighth-seeded Kansas State in the third round on Saturday.
The 32 victories sets a new school record for a single-season, breaking the mark previously held by the 1986-87 squad.
Syracuse's latest triumph was not without controversy.
With the Orange leading by three inside the final minute, a collision occurred on an inbounds pass along the sideline in front of the Bulldogs' bench. The ball clearly deflected out of bounds off Syracuse's Brandon Triche. However, the Orange retained possession.
Bulldogs senior guard J.P. Primm took a subtle jab at the officiating.
"It's tough when things don't go your way. In college basketball, sometimes you have to play everybody in the building," he remarked.
Orange head coach Jim Boeheim provided his take on the play.
"All the noise about the ball going out of bounds, I mean, Triche got pushed," he said. "That's why it went out of bounds. Maybe they missed the out of bounds, they missed the foul call. Those things equal out."
Scoop Jardine then made two free throws to put Syracuse up 68-63 with 34.8 seconds remaining. After Primm and Triche both drained a pair from the foul line, UNC Asheville allowed too much time to run off the clock before turning the ball over, ending its season.
"We made some mistakes and it cost us," said UNC Asheville head coach Ed Biedenbach. "When you play a team like Syracuse, that will happen. But they made plenty of mistakes, and some of them didn't cost them."
Dion Waiters and Kris Joseph scored 12 points apiece for Syracuse, which is playing without sophomore center Fab Melo for the duration of the tournament due to academic reasons.
Primm had 18 points and Jaron Lane scored 16 for the Bulldogs, which entered the tourney as Big South champs for the second straight season.
UNC Asheville led by as many as seven in the first half before settling for a 34-30 advantage at the break.
The back-and-forth affair continued after halftime, with a Lane jumper tying it at 54 with 6:42 remaining. Syracuse responded with an 8-0 run, capped by a Southerland three-pointer with 2:36 to play.
Ahead 62-58, Jardine missed the front end of a one-and-one. The senior guard got another opportunity when the Bulldogs were whistled for a lane violation. This time, he made both attempts, giving the Orange six-point lead with 80 seconds left.Game Notes
Southerland and Joseph both grabbed eight rebounds...Jardine finished with 11 points, seven assists and two steals...Jeremy Atkinson had 12 points and five boards for the Bulldogs...The Orange earned a No. 1 seed for the second time in three years...UNC Asheville fell to 2-3 all-time in tournament action. Both wins came in play-in games...The Bulldogs played the Big East regular-season champion in the second round of the tournament for the second straight year. They lost to Pittsburgh last year.