3 takeaways from North Carolina's blowout win over Syracuse
North Carolina trounced Syracuse 103-67 on Saturday afternoon in Chapel Hill.
The Tar Heels were dominant from start-to-finish. By the 9:45 mark of the 1st half, Carolina had a 28-12 lead over the Orange and never looked back.
Armando Bacot played in only 17 minutes due to foul trouble and the game getting out of hand in the second half. He still contributed 16 points and 11 rebounds in the win.
Here are 3 takeaways from North Carolina’s victory:
RJ Davis continues to impress
RJ Davis continues to make the most out of his senior season. On Saturday, Davis recorded a game-high 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting. He also made 4-of-6 3-point attempts and collected 5 steals on the defensive end of the floor.
This is the 10th time already this season that Davis has scored at least 20 points in a game. Davis is now over 41% from 3-point range on the season, which would be a career-high. He’s well on his way to first-team All-America status and could also be a contender to win National Player of the Year honors if he keeps up this efficiency.
This was a historic win for the Tar Heels. For the first time ever, North Carolina broke the 100-point threshold against Syracuse. It happened in UNC’s first-ever matchup against the Orange without Jim Boeheim patrolling the sidelines.
This 36-point win was also North Carolina’s largest margin-of-victory in a game against Syracuse in series history. The previous record was North Carolina’s 19-point win over Syracuse on March 7, 2018. That game was in the second round of the ACC Tournament (Carolina eventually lost in the final to Virginia).
North Carolina is now 13-4 all time against Syracuse.
North Carolina looks like a bonafide Final Four contender this season. After missing the NCAA Tournament altogether last season, Bacot, Davis and the Tar Heels had plenty to prove coming into this season. So far, they’re delivering.
North Carolina has now won six consecutive games and is 5-0 in ACC play. The Tar Heels have really not even been challenged in the league play so far this season — all five of those victories have come by at least 8 points and the last four have all been by double digits.
UNC ranks No. 15 in adjusted offensive efficiency and No. 6 in adjusted defensive efficiency, per KenPom. The last time the Tar Heels ranked in the top-15 of both categories was in 2018-19 when they earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Hubert Davis and his team will look to extend his winning streak at home on Wednesday against Louisville.