Syracuse University overcame a four-point halftime deficit to avoid becoming the first No. 1 seed since 1985 to lose to a 16th-seeded team in the men’s college basketball national tournament.
The Orange (32-2) used a late 8-0 run to win 72-65 against the University of North Carolina-Asheville (24-10).
Syrcause, playing its first game since center Fab Melo was ruled ineligible, fell behind by seven points in the first half and trailed 34-30 at halftime.
It was the first time a No. 1 seed had trailed at the half in the opening round since Kansas was behind against Holy Cross in 2002, ESPN said. Kansas went on to win 70-59.
Since 1985, top-seeded teams have a 104-0 record in the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament against 16th-seeded teams.
James Southerland had 15 points to lead the Orange, which was tied 54-54 with 6:42 remaining before going on a decisive 8- 0 run that included five points from Southerland.
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