The ACC announced Wednesday that Syracuse guard Buddy Boeheim will be suspended for Thursday's quarterfinal game between the No. 9 seed Orange and No. 1 seed Duke after Boeheim sucker punched an opponent during Wednesday's second-round victory over Florida State. The ACC's announcement described Boeheim's action as a "flagrant act."
The blow, which was not called a foul, caused FSU's Wyatt Wilkes to double over in pain. Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, Buddy's father, said after the game that he saw the blow as "inadvertent" and wasn't worried about a potential suspension.
"The kid pushed him twice and he swung around and hit him," Jim Boeheim said. "I think it was inadvertent, but that's OK."
Shortly after his father's comments in defense of the incident, Buddy Boeheim issued an apology.
"In the heat of today's game, after some shoving in the lane, I swung my arm while turning to go back ip the court," Boeheim explained. "It was wrong to act out in frustration. I apologized to Wyatt Wilkes multiple times in the handshake line. He said not to worry about it, but I know it was wrong. I pride myself in respecting the game and our opponent. I will not react that way again."
Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton shied away from rebuking Boeheim for the play after his team fell to 17-14 on the season.
"There's not a better kid in the ACC than Buddy Boeheim," Hamilton said. "He's a class kid with tremendous character. He's a young man who is competitive like everyone else. I don't want anything to take away from how well they played and what type of young man he is. The game is physical, you expect guys to bang and be aggressive. If something inadvertently happens, sometimes we want to categorize it one way or another.
"I've lost my composure sometimes and made some mistakes. If there's anybody in here who has not, I'd like for you to raise your hand. I know his family, I know his mother, I know Jim. I know what kind of kid he is. We're going to move on and let how well they played be the information we need to talk about in relation to this game."
The younger Boeheim averages 19.3 points per game and made the All-ACC First Team. Duke beat Syracuse 79-59 on Jan. 22 and 97-72 on Feb. 26. Boeheim scored just seven points on 2 of 15 shooting in the first meeting, but led the Orange with 23 in the second meeting.