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SYRACUSE, N.Y. – C.J. Fair scored 20 points, Jerami Grant had 12 points and a career-high 12 rebounds, and No. 2 Syracuse beat North Carolina 57-45 Saturday in an Atlantic Coast Conference marquee matchup.
Syracuse (16-0, 3-0) evened its all-time record against the North Carolina (10-6, 0-3) to 4-4. UNC started 0-2 in ACC play three times in the past five years and five times overall, and the loss to Syracuse equaled the worst conference start in school history in 1996-97, Dean Smith's final year as head coach.
It was the fewest points scored by North Carolina since posting 44 in a loss to Duke in 1979.
UNC coach Roy Williams dropped to 1-4 against Syracuse, the most notable setback an 81-78 loss to the Orange for the 2003 national championship in New Orleans when he was coach at Kansas. Syracuse also beat Kansas in the 1996 NCAA tournament by three points (60-57) to reach the Final Four.