No. 6 North Carolina at Syracuse
When: 8 p.m.
Where: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
TV/Radio: ESPN, 106.1-WTKK
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Projected starting lineups
North Carolina (14-2, 3-0 ACC)
G Joel Berry 12.5 ppg, 4.4 apg
G Marcus Paige 16.3 ppg, 3.7 apg
F Justin Jackson 12.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg
F Brice Johnson 16.8 ppg, 10.6 rpg
F Joel James 2.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg
Syracuse (10-6, 0-3)
G Trevor Cooney 13 ppg, 2.8 apg
G Malachi Richardson 13 ppg, 4.9 rpg
F Michael Gbinije 18 ppg, 4.7 rpg
F Tyler Roberson 9.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg
C DaJuan Coleman 4.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg
There will be a couple of notable returns in this game – none more so than Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, who will be back on the bench after serving a nine-game suspension for violation of NCAA rules. The Carrier Dome is likely to be rocking amid his return. Kennedy Meeks, the UNC junior forward, is also expected to play after missing the past seven games while recovering from a knee injury.
This isn’t a vintage Boeheim-coached Syracuse team. The Orange has lost three consecutive games, including one in overtime against Clemson earlier this week. Syracuse’s vaunted 2-3 zone still causes teams problems – opposing teams have averaged 19.3 seconds per possession against that zone, which slows teams down – but statistically this is Syracuse’s worst defensive team since 2008, according to efficiency data at kenpom.com.