(Mark Konezny)
(Mark Konezny)

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) This is the time of year Syracuse coach Dino Babers wants his young team to fully embrace, even if it must start at No. 3 Clemson.

The Orange (4-4, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) have won two straight to head into the regular-season's final month with a bit of momentum.

"To be 4-4 at Syracuse University, where the games you remember are the ones in November," Babers said. "We are going into November where the games matter. There is something riding on it."

There's much more at stake for the Tigers (8-0, 5-0), voted No. 2 in the year's first College Football Playoff rankings this week. Clemson is looking to win its 23rd consecutive regular-season game and remain on track to win the ACC Atlantic, gain a spot in the league title game and compete for the national championship.

Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said his players know they have little margin for error down the stretch.

Copyright 2016 by the Associated Press


Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boeheim gestures to the crowd while walking to the court prior to the game against the Virginia Cavaliers at the Carrier Dome. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boeheim gestures to the crowd while walking to the court prior to the game against the Virginia Cavaliers at the Carrier Dome. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim has agreed to a new contract that will extend past next season.

The extension of the Hall of Fame coach's contract comes after head-coach-in-waiting Mike Hopkins was hired Sunday by Washington. Boeheim had planned to step down following the conclusion of next season. Details of the extension were not released.

Boeheim just completed his 41st season as head coach at his alma mater. He ranks second all-time among Division I coaches in victories with 903, trailing only Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski.

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Syracuse Orange interim head coach Mike Hopkins reacts to a call against the Clemson Tigers during the first half at the Carrier Dome. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse Orange interim head coach Mike Hopkins reacts to a call against the Clemson Tigers during the first half at the Carrier Dome. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

In a move that caught many in Central New York off guard, associate head coach Mike Hopkins will be taking the head coaching position at the University of Washington. He replaces Lorenzo Romar, who was fired after a dismal 9-22 season and an 11th place finish in the Pac-12. >> Read more

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Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

A quick take on Syracuse's 85-80 loss to Ole Miss in the NIT second round at the Dome, ending the Orange season:

WHAT HAPPENED: In a first-ever meeting between the schools, Ole Miss (22-13) became the ninth SEC team (of 14) to play in the Dome, and using a mix of defenses and torrid three point shooting, knocked the Orange (19-15) out of the NIT.

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Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim reacts to an official in the second half of an NCAA college basketball NIT game against UNC Greensboro in Syracuse, N.Y., Wednesday, March 15, 2017. Syracuse won 90-77. (AP Photo/Nick Lisi)
Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim reacts to an official in the second half of an NCAA college basketball NIT game against UNC Greensboro in Syracuse, N.Y., Wednesday, March 15, 2017. Syracuse won 90-77. (AP Photo/Nick Lisi)

A quick take on Syracuse's 90-77 win over UNC Greensboro in the opening round of the NIT at the Carrier Dome on Wednesday evening:

WHAT HAPPENED: With Syracuse comfortably ahead by double digits most of the second half, and as much as 81-63 with 5:40 left to go, UNC Greensboro made things interesting late.

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GEICO SportsNite: March Madness 00:02:37
Tarik Tuner and Tom Pecora join SportsNite to discuss the events of Selection Sunday, including the omission of Syracuse.

A quick take on Syracuse being left out of the NCAA Tournament on Selection Sunday:

WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse's NCAA Tournament bubble finally burst on Sunday, with the selection committee leaving the most hotly debated team out of the field of 68. Instead of SU, the last four teams that were invited included USC, Wake Forest, Kansas State and Providence. The Deacons are a relatively curious choice because the Orange owned more top-50 wins, finished ahead of them in the ACC, and also won the teams' only head-to-head matchup this season. Regardless, Syracuse is headed to the NIT for the first time since 2008. >> Read more at The Juice

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

NEW YORK - A quick take on Syracuse's 62-57 loss against Miami in the second round of the ACC Tournament at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn:

WHAT HAPPENED: After a Tyus Battle 3-pointer with 12:23 left gave the Orange a brief 41-40 lead, Dejan Vasiljevic drained consecutive 3-pointers to give Miami the lead that it had held through most of the game. The Orange would pull to within one with just over four minutes left and within two with 12.1 seconds left, but could never retake the lead, and SU remained winless in the ACC Tournament.

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Mar 4, 2017; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Andrew White III (3) drives the ball past Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets guard Corey Heyward (30) to take a shot during the second half of a game at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse won 90-61. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports (Mark Konezny)
Mar 4, 2017; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Andrew White III (3) drives the ball past Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets guard Corey Heyward (30) to take a shot during the second half of a game at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse won 90-61. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports (Mark Konezny)

A quick take on Syracuse's 90-61 blowout win against Georgia Tech on Senior Day at the Carrier Dome:

WHAT HAPPENED: After Syracuse's 12-point halftime lead was cut to 38-35 with 18:06 left in the second half, Andrew White led a furious Syracuse run that left it with a 70-46 lead with 7:56 to go. With the game in rout territory with 3:02 left, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim allowed SU fans to pay homage to senior Dajuan Coleman, who had only appeared in three other ACC games in his final season.  

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A quick take on Syracuse's 88-68 blowout loss to Louisville on Sunday afternoon:

WHAT HAPPENED: After Syracuse took a 17-13 lead with 10:11 left in the first half after a Tyus Battle 3-pointer, Louisville tightened its defense and took a commanding 41-25 lead into intermission. An Andrew White layup with 9:08 left in the second half cut the lead to 61-50, but that is the closest Syracuse would get.

Read more at The Juice

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Feb 22, 2017; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange fans celebrate on the court following the game against the Duke Blue Devils at the Carrier Dome. The Orange won 78-75. Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 22, 2017; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange fans celebrate on the court following the game against the Duke Blue Devils at the Carrier Dome. The Orange won 78-75. Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

A quick take on Syracuse's incredible 78-75 win over Duke on Wednesday evening at the Carrier Dome:

WHAT HAPPENED: With three Duke defenders in his face and the game tied, Syracuse guard John Gillon launched a 3-pointer from straight away that banked in as time expired, as the Orange likely stamped its ticket to the NCAA Tournament with a dramatic come-from-behind win.

Read more at The Juice

Tags: Duke University, Syracuse University

Syracuse Orange forward Taurean Thompson works to take a shot as Louisville Cardinals forward Mangok Mathiang defends during the second half of a game at the Carrier Dome. (Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse Orange forward Taurean Thompson works to take a shot as Louisville Cardinals forward Mangok Mathiang defends during the second half of a game at the Carrier Dome. (Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)

Syracuse's second-half rally fell short as the Orange cut a 13-point deficit to two with under a minute left, but the Orange couldn't complete the comeback in a 71-65 loss to Georgia Tech on Sunday at McCamish Pavilion. >> Read more at The Juice

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Syracuse Orange guard John Gillon warms up prior to a game against the Louisville Cardinals at the Carrier Dome. (Mark Konezny/USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse Orange guard John Gillon warms up prior to a game against the Louisville Cardinals at the Carrier Dome. (Mark Konezny/USA TODAY Sports)

After John Gillon's game-tying 3-pointer with 37 seconds left in regulation forced overtime, the Syracuse Orange lost to No. 8 Louisville, 76-72, on Monday at Carrier Dome. >> Read more at The Juice

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Mar 9, 2012; New York, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange center Fab Melo (51) shoots a free throw against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the first half of the semifinals of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE (Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE)
Mar 9, 2012; New York, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange center Fab Melo (51) shoots a free throw against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the first half of the semifinals of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE (Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE)

Former Syracuse center and first-round draft pick Fab Melo died on Saturday at the age of 26 in his home country of Brazil. 

 

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Feb 11, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers forward Jamel Artis (1) dribbles the ball against Syracuse Orange guard Tyus Battle (L) during the first half at the Petersen Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 11, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers forward Jamel Artis (1) dribbles the ball against Syracuse Orange guard Tyus Battle (L) during the first half at the Petersen Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

A quick take on Syracuse's disappointing 80-75 loss against Pittsburgh Saturday afternoon, at Petersen Events Center on the Pitt campus:

WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse's five-game ACC winning streak came to a screeching halt as Pitt led throughout, and the Panthers split the season series. After opening up a seven-point halftime lead, Pitt answered the several Orange (16-10, 8-5) second half runs by beating the SU press down court and scoring easy baskets, and by out-rebounding Syracuse 41-25.

Read more at The Juice

Tags: Syracuse University, University of Pittsburgh

Feb 7, 2017; Clemson, SC, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Andrew White III (3) drives to the basket while being defended by Clemson Tigers guard Gabe DeVoe (10) during the first half as Littlejohn Coliseum.  (Joshua S. Kelly (USA Today))
Feb 7, 2017; Clemson, SC, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Andrew White III (3) drives to the basket while being defended by Clemson Tigers guard Gabe DeVoe (10) during the first half as Littlejohn Coliseum. (Joshua S. Kelly (USA Today))

Down by eight with roughly eight minutes left to go, the Orange closed the gap over the next four minutes, pulling to within 75-74 after a Tyler Lydon dunk with 4:00 to go. From there, the teams traded the lead three times in the final minute, but Donte Grantham's free throw line jumper with 6.7 seconds left gave Clemson a 81-79 lead. But Tyus Battle's 3-pointer as time expired gave Syracuse an improbable win, its fifth in a row, and the Orange won for just the second time on the road this season.

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Feb 4, 2017; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Andrew White III (3) controls the ball as Virginia Cavaliers guard Marial Shayok (4) defends during the first half at the Carrier Dome. (Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Feb 4, 2017; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Andrew White III (3) controls the ball as Virginia Cavaliers guard Marial Shayok (4) defends during the first half at the Carrier Dome. (Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)

A quick take on Syracuse's 66-62 win against Virginia on Saturday afternoon at the Carrier Dome:

WHAT HAPPENED: Down 34-22 coming out of intermission, Syracuse started on an 11-0 run and eventually led by as many as six points midway through the second half. 

Tags: Syracuse University, University of Virginia
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 (Rob Kinnan)
(Rob Kinnan)

A quick take on Syracuse's thrilling, back and forth 100-93 overtime victory against North Carolina State on Wednesday evening at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C.:

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Jan 28, 2017; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Tyus Battle (25) handles the ball as Florida State Seminoles guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes (22) defends during the first half of a game at the Carrier Dome. (Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)
Jan 28, 2017; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Tyus Battle (25) handles the ball as Florida State Seminoles guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes (22) defends during the first half of a game at the Carrier Dome. (Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)

A quick take on Syracuse's 82-72 win against Florida State on Saturday afternoon at the Carrier Dome:

WHAT HAPPENED: After Dwayne Bacon's 3-pointer with 1:47 left pulled FSU to within 72-70, John Gillon responded with 10 straight points to keep the Seminoles at bay.

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Jan 24, 2017; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Andrew White III (3) shoots the ball against the defense of Wake Forest Demon Deacons forward Konstantinos Mitoglou (44) during the first half at the Carrier Dome.  (Rich Barnes (USA Today))
Jan 24, 2017; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Andrew White III (3) shoots the ball against the defense of Wake Forest Demon Deacons forward Konstantinos Mitoglou (44) during the first half at the Carrier Dome. (Rich Barnes (USA Today))

A quick take on Syracuse's 81-76 win against Wake Forest on Tuesday evening at the Carrier Dome:

WHAT HAPPENED: With the score tied at 68 with 1:15 left, John Gillon drove the lane, and the ball eventually made its way to Andrew White, who drilled a 3-pointer to give SU a 71-68 lead. Syracuse never reliquished the lead after that, and clutch free throw shooting from White, Tyler Lydon and Taurean Thompson evened the Orange's ACC record at .500. >> Read more from The Juice...

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Jan 21, 2017; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Steve Vasturia (32) goes up for a shot as Syracuse Orange forward Tyler Lydon (20) defends in the second half at the Purcell Pavilion. Notre Dame won 84-66. (Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports)
Jan 21, 2017; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Steve Vasturia (32) goes up for a shot as Syracuse Orange forward Tyler Lydon (20) defends in the second half at the Purcell Pavilion. Notre Dame won 84-66. (Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports)

A quick take on Syracuse's 84-66 loss against Notre Dame on the road on Saturday afternoon:

WHAT HAPPENED: After Syracuse had cut Notre Dame's lead to four with 9:48 left, the Irish went on an 10-0 run to take a 26-14 lead. 

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Syracuse's Tyler Lydon posts up against Boston College's Connar Tava Saturday. (Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse's Tyler Lydon posts up against Boston College's Connar Tava Saturday. (Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)

A quick take on Syracuse's 76-53 win over Boston College Saturday: 

Up just two points with 8:36 left in the first half, the Orange went on a 14-2 run to take control of the game. During that run, the Orange forced nine turnovers and BC went 0-7 from the field. The win put Syracuse back over the .500 mark in conference play.

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 (Michael Thomas Shroyer (USA Today))
(Michael Thomas Shroyer (USA Today))

A quick take on Syracuse's 83-73 loss against Virginia Tech on Tuesday evening:

After Syracuse pulled to within 51-48 with 10:39 left, Virginia Tech responded with an 8-0 run capped by a Justin Bibbs 3-pointer with 6:48 to go. The Orange would have one last gasp, pulling to within six points with around a minute left. But John Gillon and Tyus Battle missed 3-pointers on consecutive possessions, and Virginia Tech was able to extend its home-court winning streak to 15 games.

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Jan 7, 2017; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange guard John Gillon (4) knocks the ball out of the hands of Pittsburgh Panthers guard Jonathan Milligan (55) during the first half at the Carrier Dome. (Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Jan 7, 2017; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange guard John Gillon (4) knocks the ball out of the hands of Pittsburgh Panthers guard Jonathan Milligan (55) during the first half at the Carrier Dome. (Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)

A quick take on Syracuse's 77-66 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon:

WHAT HAPPENED: Chris Jones' layup with 13:50 left in the first half cut Syracuse's lead to 14-8. From there, the Orange held Pitt scoreless until 5:12 left before intermission, and by then, SU had taken a 36-8 lead.

Tags: Syracuse University, University of Pittsburgh
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Jan 4, 2017; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Andrew White III (3) drives the ball to get past Miami Hurricanes guard Davon Reed (5) during the first half of a game at the Carrier Dome. (Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)
Jan 4, 2017; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Andrew White III (3) drives the ball to get past Miami Hurricanes guard Davon Reed (5) during the first half of a game at the Carrier Dome. (Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)

A quick take on Syracuse's 70-55 win over Miami on Wednesday evening:

WHAT HAPPENED: After Dajan Vasiljevic's 3-pointer slashed SU's lead to 43-42 with 13:30 left, Syracuse responded with a 9-0 run to go up 10 with 10:25 left, capped by Andrew White's 3-pointer. From there, Tyler Lydon scored nine straight points for the Orange as Syracuse opened up a comfortable double-digit lead it would never relinquish. >> Read more at The Juice

Tags: Syracuse University, University of Miami

Boston College guard Jerome Robinson drives to the basket past Syracuse guard John Gillon. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)
Boston College guard Jerome Robinson drives to the basket past Syracuse guard John Gillon. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

Syracuse's rough men's basketball season continued into the New Year with a 96-81 ACC road loss to Boston College Sunday

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Dec 27, 2016; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange forward Tyler Lydon (20) takes a jump shot as Cornell Big Red guard Wil Bathurst (20) and guard Robert Hatter (5) defend during the second half of a game at the Carrier Dome. (Mark Konezny (USA Today))
Dec 27, 2016; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange forward Tyler Lydon (20) takes a jump shot as Cornell Big Red guard Wil Bathurst (20) and guard Robert Hatter (5) defend during the second half of a game at the Carrier Dome. (Mark Konezny (USA Today))

After Cornell took a 16-14 lead with just over 11 minutes left in the first half, the Orange held the Big Red to just six points for the next eight minutes. During that time, SU took a 31-20 lead after a pair of Tyler Lydon free throws. Syracuse would then open up a 42-25 going into halftime, and the Orange would never be seriously threatened in the second half.

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Syracuse Orange forward Tyler Lydon grabs a rebound in front of St. John's Red Storm forward Tariq Owens during the first half at the Carrier Dome. (Rich Barnes/USA Today Sports Images)
Syracuse Orange forward Tyler Lydon grabs a rebound in front of St. John's Red Storm forward Tariq Owens during the first half at the Carrier Dome. (Rich Barnes/USA Today Sports Images)

The Syracuse Orange were outscored 54-31 in the second half as they lost to the St. John's Red Storm, 93-60, Wednesday at the Carrier Dome. >> Read more at The Juice

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Dec 19, 2016; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange forward Tyler Lydon (20) reacts after scoring against the Eastern Michigan Eagles during the first half at the Carrier Dome. (Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Dec 19, 2016; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange forward Tyler Lydon (20) reacts after scoring against the Eastern Michigan Eagles during the first half at the Carrier Dome. (Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)

A quick take on Syracuse's dominant 105-57 win against Eastern Michigan Monday night at the Dome:

WHAT HAPPENED: In welcoming old friend Rob Murphy back to campus, the one time Jim Boeheim assistant (2004-11), who is amazingly now in his sixth year guiding the EMU program, saw the Orange offense blitz from the opening tip in the bounce back victory. 

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Dec 10, 2016; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Andrew White III (3) shoots the ball against the defense of Boston University Terriers guard Kyle Foreman (25) during the first half at the Carrier Dome. (Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Dec 10, 2016; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Andrew White III (3) shoots the ball against the defense of Boston University Terriers guard Kyle Foreman (25) during the first half at the Carrier Dome. (Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)

A quick take on Syracuse's 99-77 rout of Boston University on Saturday afternoon:

WHAT HAPPENED: After a lackadaisical first half where the Orange went into intermission up just 45-39, SU's offense exploded in the second half to break a two-game losing streak.

Tags: Syracuse University
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GEICO SportsNite: UConn vs. Cuse 00:01:05
UConn men's basketball defeats Syracuse, 52-50, on the strength of a pair of late free throws at Madison Square Garden.

UConn's Christian Vital made the go-ahead free throws with 2.2 seconds remaining as the Syracuse Orange blew a double-digit second-half lead to lose to the Huskies, 52-50, Monday at Madison Square Garden. >> Read more at The Juice

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