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Off the cuff: Syracuse is difficult to play in this era because of its unusual zone defense. But Carolina hit enough long shots to allow them to get it in to big guys inside. And even when Carolina shots didn't go down, the Tar Heels hit the boards hard for offensive boards and scores.

But, as soon as the game ended, the attention turned to Roy Williams, who recorded his 800th coaching victory.

Williams is now 382-111 at Carolina to go along with is 418-107 record at Kansas.

There was a short ceremony after the game, highlighted by a video of congratulations from former players. Featured among them were Danny Green, who was on the Tar Heels when Williams got to No. 500; Tyler Hansbrough, who was on the team when he reached No. 600 and Marcus Paige, who was a member of the Heels when he won No. 700.

Williams seemed moved by the video as well as the fact that Hansbrough, Mitch Kupchak, Wes Miller and his high school coach Buddy Baldwin were in attendance to see No. 800.

"I hope I get a few more," Williams said, adding that the win total was due to having great players at two great universities.

Tar Heels 85, Syracuse 68
Heels win 17th as Roy nails down 800th

North Carolina picked up its 17th win of the season as Roy Williams won his 800th game as a head coach with an 85-68 victory over Syracuse. (1/16).

Coach Williams said he feels good about getting to No. 800 but that he really wanted to get No. 17 for this year's team. "I never said one thing to the team about it," he said. "I was afraid if other people were saying something about it to them they might be stressed."

The players knew and they sported No. 800 T-shirts after the game and hugged their coach and celebrated with him after the win.

Coach Williams becomes the 11th coach in Division I history to get to 800 wins and he becomes the second fastest to 800 behind only the legendary Adolph Rupp.

Despite the final score, it wasn't always easy for the Tar Heels during the milestone win. But Carolina's interior presence against the Syracuse zone ultimately was the difference.

The Tar Heels outrebounded the Orange 44-24 and came up with 18 offensive rebounds compared to just six for the visitors.

The three starting forwards recorded 30 of those rebounds and scored 64 of Carolina's 85 points. Justin Jackson and Kennedy Meeks each recorded double-doubles as Jackson scored 19 points and hauled in 10 rebounds while Meeks scored 15 points and pulled in 12 rebounds. Isaiah Hicks, however, was the leading scorer with 20 points, along with eight rebounds.

Carolina got a lot of production off its defense. Syracuse turned the ball over 13 times and the Heels scored after 12 of them for a total of 26 points.

Joel Berry, who finished with 10 points, got a couple of three pointers in the first half to help Carolina lead by as many as 12 points.

The Heels extended the lead to 15 early in the second half but the Orange outscored Carolina 12-0 over a two-minute span to get back in it at 45-42.

After whiffing on six straight possessions, the Tar Heels scored on each of six straight possessions to get the lead back up to double figures at 57-46. A Kenny Williams swished three from the left win highlighted the run.

It never got closer than seven again and, after a 13-5 run, the Heels had worked the lead back up to 15 at 79-64 with just 3:36 to play.

Two plays in particular during that spurt got the home crowd on its feet. After a Meeks steal, a streaking Jackson dished to Berry for a fast break bucket for the first highlight play. Then, Jackson drove the length of the court, hit a two-handed, underhanded scoop shot and was fouled for a three-point play.

Tyler Lydon's 26 points kept Syracuse in it but the Orange fell to 11-8 and 3-3 in the ACC.

Carolina, who improves to 17-3 and 5-1 in the ACC, travels to Boston College Saturday at noon.

Box Score

Roy Williams' 800th win.

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