It appeared to be another classic for the ages:
Just like three weeks before at the Carrier Dome, Syracuse hung toe-to-toe with Duke and all of those zany “Cameron Crazies.” But the hero for so long, Tyler Ennis made a drive to the basket in the final minute to try and tie the score. The play resulted in an offensive foul, since the revised NCAA rules do not permit an offensive player to be up in the air while the defender is in a stationary position.
The 66-60 final score was decided on technical free throws. As much as ESPN devoted to this story late on Saturday night, the bottom line is Syracuse has lost two in a row.
Let me emphasize that last part again:
TWO LOSSES IN A ROW FOR THE ORANGE.
Duke bounced back impressively after the three-point shot doomed them on Thursday night at the Smith Center in getting blown out by North Carolina.
Other key games around the country on Saturday:
New Mexico stunned San Diego State at home 58-44.
Wisconsin survived a key Big Ten tussle at Iowa, 79-74 while the new Number 1 in waiting Florida dispatched Ole Miss on the road in a close battle, 75-71.
Russ Smith hit a soft 16 foot shot from the left side with less than four seconds left to edge out Cincinnati in another tense game in the AAC 58-57 with “The Big O” Oscar Robertson in attendance.
Kentucky appears to be back on track in the SEC after barely getting back a very determined LSU squad 77-76 in overtime at raucous Rupp Arena in Lexington.
Stanford appears to be on the bubble after giving UCLA a crushing blow to their tournament hopes, with the Cardinal dispatching the Bruins in Palo Alto 83-74.
Arizona used a double digit run to start the game and never looked back at Colorado, 88-61.
Iowa State appears to be back on track in the Big 12 winning at TCU, 71-60.
Even Marquette and DePaul staged quite a cool game at Rosemont’s Allstate Arena. Had they played more than one overtime, the crews would not have had enough to clear off the basketball court so they could set up for that evening’s American Hockey League game between the Chicago Wolves and the Abbottsford (British Columbia, Canada) Heat.
And yes, Wichita State barely broke a sweat in winning yet again–83 to 54 at home against Drake. A road test at Bradley on Tuesday and their final home contest on Saturday before the “Arch Madness” Tournament begins in St. Louis the following week. The Shockers matched Illinois’ streak of 29 straight wins to start a season at 29-0. Next up for the history buffs out there, St. Joseph’s of Pennsylvania from 2003-2004 as guard Tekele Cotton ran the offense smoothly once again by hitting 9 of his 12 shots from the floor for a game-high 21 points.
Big week for the Big Ten, and it all starts early on Sunday afternoon with CBS televising a game that I thought at the beginning of the season was going to be huge for Michigan. It turns out both the Spartans and Wolverines will need this game rather badly.
And after Indiana’s brief roof problem inside Assembly Hall on Tuesday night, Iowa had to ask to move their game with Purdue. According to espn.com, the report mentioned that Iowa will travel to Minnesota on Tuesday, Bloomington on Thursday, and at Purdue next Sunday after both teams agreed to move the game from Saturday. Indiana will play at Wisconsin on Tuesday, then hosts Iowa on Thursday and Ohio State on Sunday.
“We appreciate the efforts of all those involved in working together during this process,” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said in a statement. “I especially would like to thank Purdue’s administration and Matt Painter for agreeing to move our game. Being able to move the Purdue game to Sunday allows us to have two days of preparation for both the Indiana and Purdue games next week.”
The makeup game will be played at 9 p.m. Eastern time next Thursday on ESPN.