Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim doesn’t think Frank Howard intentionally tried to trip Zion Williamson during Duke’s 84-72 victory over the Orange on Thursday.
"There was no trip involved out there," he said, per Dan Wolken of USA Today. "I don't know who was talking about that but it was bunk. Trying to manufacture something out of nothing."
Despite Boeheim’s assertions, Howard appeared to try to trip the freshman sensation during the first half:
This was Williamson’s first game since he suffered a knee injury in a Feb. 20 loss to the North Carolina Tar Heels. The presumed No. 1 pick’s health was the central storyline, putting Howard’s actions further under the spotlight.
It didn’t stop Williamson from dominating the game with 29 points, 14 rebounds and five steals behind 13-of-13 shooting from the field.
He will now have the chance to beat the Tar Heels in Friday’s ACC tournament semifinal game after he suffered the injury in the opening minute of the first matchup and missed the rematch. Duke lost both games but will have one of the best players in recent college basketball history available with a potential No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament on the line.