Ranzino Smith scored 21 points and Jeff Lebo added 20, including key free throws in overtime, as North Carolina, ranked No. 3 in the preseason poll, beat top-ranked Syracuse, 96-93, Saturday in the ninth annual Tip-Off college basketball game in Springfield, Mass.
The Tar Heels played without starters J. R. Reid and Steve Bucknall, who were suspended for the game by Coach Dean Smith for their involvement in an altercation last month.
However, their replacements--freshmen Pete Chilcutt and Rick Fox--combined for 29 points.
Chilcutt forced the overtime when his jumper from the foul line bounced on the rim and dropped in to tie the game, 85-85, as the buzzer sounded.
Syracuse took an 89-85 lead early in the overtime, but the Tar Heels tied the game on two free throws by Smith and a layup by Chilcutt. Syracuse's last lead came on a short jumper by Stephen Thompson that made it 91-89, but North Carolina scored the next five points, the last two on free throws by Lebo with 21 seconds to play.