Isaiah Hicks scored 21 points and No. 6 North Carolina ruined Jim Boeheim's return to the bench, beating Syracuse, 84-73, on Saturday night.
Boeheim was back with the Orange after serving a nine-game suspension for NCAA violations. The team went 4-5 in his absence, dropping the last three.
The crowd of 26,811 at the Carrier Dome greeted Boeheim with a standing ovation and then roared throughout the game that was close for 37 minutes before the Tar Heels pulled away to their eighth straight win.
Brice Johnson and Justin Jackson both had 16 points for the Tar Heels (15-2, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), while Joel Berry II added 14.
Johnson was coming off a 39-point,...