For the second weekend in a row, the nation’s No. 1-overall team suffers an upset. After Duke suffered a defeat at the hands of NC State in the Wolfpack den, Louisville played host to the Syracuse Orange on Saturday and fell in dramatic fashion, 70-68.
The game was tied at halftime, 38-38, and it remained neck-and-neck throughout.
However, when the game came down to crunch time, ‘Cuse guard Brandon Triche wound up being the difference. Louisville star Russ Smith was supposed to score his 25 points, but it took him 18 shots, finishing only 2-for-8 from behind the three-point line. He was the lone Cardinals’ player to finish with double-digit points.
Triche countered Smith’s heroics with 23 points of his own, and he did so far more efficiently. The 6-foot-4 senior sank nine of his 13 shots and finished a stellar 5-of-7 from beyond the arc.
His fantastic afternoon also helped the Orange to overcome a slow start from star guard Michael Carter-Williams. Averaging 11.9 point and 9.3 assists prior to the Louisville showdown, Carter-Williams finished with 16 points while dropping seven dimes — but he also tallied a whopping eight turnovers while only shooting 4-of-13 from the field.
Luckily for coach Jim Boeheim, he did heat up late, scoring 11 of his points in the second half of the nail-biter of a win.
The Orange will now head back home for a game against Cincinnati on Monday, Jan. 21 at 3:30 p.m. ET.