Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim hinted that Wednesday’s loss to Wake Forest in the ACC tournament could have been his last game after 47 seasons as coach of the Orange.
“I gave my retirement speech last week, and nobody picked up on it,” Boeheim said after the 77-74 loss on a 3-pointer by the Demon Deacons’ Daivien Williamson with 0.5 seconds remaining.
When pressed on whether it was, indeed, his final game with Syracuse, Boeheim wouldn’t say it directly.
“This is up to the university,” he said. “… I just said it. I don’t know. I said this is up to the university.”
When pressed further as to how he would make a decision about returning for another season, Boeheim simply stated that “you’re talking to the wrong guy.”
Syracuse awaits any possible postseason bids with a 17-15 record.
Boeheim has an official coaching record of 1,015-441 over his career — with 101 wins having been vacated because of NCAA rules violations that resulted in sanctions. Retired Duke coach Mike Kryzyzewski holds the Division I career record with 1,202 victories, with Boeheim ranking second.
It was the first ACC tournament victory for Wake Forest (19-13) since 2017. The No. 9 seed now advances to play top-seeded Miami in the quarterfinals Thursday.
Williamson grabbed a long rebound off a missed jumper by Joe Girard and handed it to teammate Tyree Appleby, who dribbled up the court and drew multiple defenders at the top of the key. Williamson was left open for a long 3-pointer, and Syracuse was well short on a heave at the buzzer.
“We just had to go; we knew we ain’t have no timeouts,” Williamson said in a TV interview. “Tyree made a great pass, I had confidence to knock it down and I did.”
Williamson finished with four 3-pointers and 17 points and Appleby had 15 points and 12 assists for Wake Forest. Bobi Klintman secured a double-double in the first half and finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Cameron Hildreth also scored 15 points, and Andrew Carr had 10 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals.
Wake Forest scored the opening four points of the second half to take its first lead, 37-35, since it was up 6-5. Appleby and Williamson each made a 3-pointer on back-to-back possessions to cap a 17-1 run for a 54-42 lead. The run came during the Demon Deacons’ 21-7 start to the half.
Hildreth scored seven straight Wake Forest points to help build a 70-66 lead and added a spinning shot in the lane with 36.2 seconds left to tie it at 74-all.
Benny Williams had 18 points, 11 rebounds and 5 steals and Judah Mintz added 18 points with seven assists for Syracuse (17-15). Jesse Edwards, who had 27 points on Saturday in a 72-63 win over Wake Forest, was held to just two points in the first half and finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Williams completed a three-point play to tie it at 60-all and sank a 3-pointer with 59.5 seconds left for a 74-72 lead.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.