College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, March 4, 2012
Likely in need of a win for consideration by the NCAA Tournament selection committee, the Syracuse Orange torched the visiting Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets before a sellout crowd at the Carrier Dome Saturday, using a stifling defense and 40 points from Andrew White III for a 90-61 victory.
White, in his final home game as an Orange, set a career mark with 40 points. Deadly accurate from anywhere on the floor, White was 12-for-16 from the field, including a Syracuse season-high eight threes on nine attempts. The fifth-year senior also went 8-for-9 from the foul line, adding three rebounds, two assists and a pair of thefts.
A transfer from Nebraska, and previously having spent two seasons at Kansas, White tied the Syracuse record for most points scored in the Carrier Dome, matching the effort by Gene Waldron in 1983 against Iona.
The Orange avenged a 71-65 two weeks ago at Georgia Tech and bolstered their chances of making the NCAA tourney, improving to 18-13 overall and 10-8 in the ACC.
Syracuse's 2-3 zone, brainchild of mastermind coach Jim Boeheim, limited the Yellow Jackets to 44% shooting, and was even more effective at limiting three-pointers. Georgia Tech shot just 25% (5-for-20) from beyond the arc. In contrast, the Orange were blistering, hitting at 54% overall and 62.5% (15-for-24) from three-point range.
Elsewhere in the ACC, #5 North Carolina captured the regular season title with a 90-83 win over #17 Duke and #8 Louisville outlasted #19 Notre Dame, 71-64.
The Tar Heels finished conference play with a 14-4 mark, two games better than Florida State, Louisville, and Notre Dame, each of which finished at 12-6.
The conference tournament, the winner of which will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tourney, runs Wednesday, March 8 through Saturday, March 11 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.