The Atlantic Coast Conference’s longest-tenured coaches will square off, with each team looking for some late-season momentum when Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim takes on host Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton in Tallahassee, Fla., on Wednesday night.
Both teams snapped three-game losing streaks by winning their most recent contests.
Syracuse (14-10, 7-6 ACC) beat Boston College 77-68 on Saturday, with Jesse Edwards making 80 percent of his shots (12-for-15) and finishing with a career-high 27 points, seven rebounds and four blocks. Joseph Girard III hit nine free throws and added 18 points as the Orange took the lead for good with 7:25 left.
Florida State (8-16, 6-7) is coming off an 81-78 win at Louisville and will next try to snap a three-game losing streak at home.
Florida State had to hold off a late 17-2 surge by the host Cardinals. But despite the late struggles, the Seminoles’ win had more of their signature look with five players scoring in double figures, led by Cameron Corhen’s 16 points on seven made field goals.
Matthew Cleveland totaled 15 points and 10 rebounds to pick up his 10th double-double of the season.
“We’ve had a long year, we’ve been through it all, we’ve seen it all, but in the last three minutes we showed we’re a brotherhood and we pulled it together,” Cleveland said. “This season didn’t start how we wanted, but we’re playing it game by game right now.”
As Syracuse prepares to face the Seminoles, Boeheim has received criticism for comments he made accusing three of the team’s ACC rivals for “buying” their rosters with name, image and likeness funds.
“This is an awful place we’re in in college basketball,” Boeheim recently told ESPN. “Pittsburgh bought a team. OK, fine. My (big donor) talks about it, but he doesn’t give anyone any money. Nothing. Not one guy. Our guys make like $20,000. Wake Forest bought a team. Miami bought a team. … It’s like, ‘Really, this is where we are?’ That’s really where we are, and it’s only going to get worse.”
Boeheim, who recently said he “probably” would remain the Orange’s coach for the 2023-24 season, would later apologize for those comments.
–Field Level Media