4:00 PM ET, January 19, 2013
KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, Kentucky
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Syracuse guard Michael Carter-Williams wasn't fazed by a shaky first half, nor two missed free throws in the final minute that gave No. 1 Louisville chances to win on Saturday.
King on Syracuse's Upset Win
Michael Carter-Williams was huge when it counted most, helping Syracuse beat No. 1 Louisville, Jason King writes. Column
The sophomore just knew he had to redeem himself, and his second-half recovery in several areas helped the sixth-ranked Orange rally for the 70-68 upset.
It was the second straight Saturday that No. 1 went down. Duke lost to then-No. 20 North Carolina State 84-76 a week ago.
A record crowd of 22,814 at the KFC Yum! Center saw Syracuse beat a No. 1 team for fourth time, all Big East teams.
Carter-Williams' most important contributions were a go-ahead 3-pointer with 5:28 remaining, followed by a steal and go-ahead dunk with 23 seconds left as he scored nine of his team's final 11 points, including the last four.
He added a rebound and another steal at the end to cap a 16-point, seven-assist game that made it easy for Carter-Williams to forget a five-point first half and those two missed free throws.
"I wasn't going to go out without a fight," said Carter-Williams, who finished with four assists and four steals. "They were pressuring us, coming at us in the first half. Things were going their way. The second half, I tried to fight back the best I could. I had two or three turnovers but I just kept flipping the page, flipping the page and ended up winning the game, which was great. ...
"Those free throws, I just had to have faith in myself and just try to do anything to get the win."
Syracuse G Brandon Triche joined "The Bram Weinstein Show" after upsetting top-ranked Louisville.
Brandon Triche was 9 of 13 from the field, including five of Syracuse's seven 3-pointers, to finish with 23 points as the Orange (17-1, 5-0 Big East) took control of the Big East Conference. He credited Carter-Williams for getting the win.
"Michael was the reason we won the game, getting the dunk," Triche said. "I might have kept us in the game, but he's the reason we won the game getting the two steals. That's winning stuff."
Russ Smith's 25 points led Louisville (16-2, 4-1), which had its 11-game winning streak stopped. The Cardinals shot 41 percent (24 of 59) including 29 percent in the second half.
After taking a 68-66 lead on Smith's two free throws with 1:58 remaining, Louisville missed two shots and committed two turnovers.
"That was a great college basketball game and they made some really terrific defensive plays down the stretch," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "They made the plays, they made the shots when it counted and we didn't."
Louisville's final chance to tie ended with a pass inside around Gorgui Dieng's knees in the final seconds which Syracuse recovered to seal the victory.
For the Cardinals, it was disappointing end to a week that began with their second No. 1 ranking in school history.
"I'd rather have the No. 1 ranking at the end of the year," Louisville guard Peyton Siva said. "I really don't mind having the No. 1 ranking at all. We're going to work our way back up to that spot and hopefully get it at the end of the year."
Syracuse was 24 of 49 from the field (49 percent) and the Orange outrebounded the Cardinals 36-31.
More impressive, Syracuse didn't wilt each time Louisville seemed to get the momentum in a back-and-forth game.
Orange Peel Off Another Upset
Saturday's 70-68 come-from-behind win against Louisville was Syracuse's fourth all time against the AP No. 1 team. All four have come against Big East foes. Here's a look:
|March 2006||vs Connecticut*|
|February 1999||at Connecticut|
|* Big East tournament|
-- ESPN Stats & Information
"I thought both teams played incredibly hard," Orange coach Jim Boeheim said. "There were opportunities where we could've gotten discouraged. Michael turned it over for a layup. He made some mistakes, but he is a big-time player.
"It was great, but now we can forget about it and try to get ready for Cincinnati on Monday night."
The game pitted Syracuse's trademark 2/3 zone defense against Louisville's signature pressure, which last year produced two games in which neither team shot above 35 percent in either game.
And while both teams got some results from their defensive strengths, the first half featured impressive offensive performances by both.
Syracuse made seven of its first nine shots and hit 14 of 23 overall (61 percent) thanks to Triche, who made all four 3-point attempts and all seven overall for 18 points by halftime. His accuracy helped put the Orange ahead early and then rally late in the half to forge a 38-all tie.
"I got comfortable," Triche said. "I didn't miss a shot in the first half. I was just letting the game come to me. I was going to get open spots and once I got open I just concentrated on following through. The guys got me the ball when I was open and it was pretty easy to move shots because of the movement we had. I wasn't going to force anything."
Louisville hit 54 percent (15 of 28) with huge contributions from its bench. Montrezl Harrell was a big factor in the Cardinals outscoring Syracuse's reserves 15-4, hitting all four of his shots for eight points one game after playing 4 scoreless minutes and being limited by an illness.
Smith led the way for the Cardinals' starters after a shaky start in which they missed their first three shots against the zone -- including two from beyond the arc -- before he hit a 3-pointer to bring Louisville within 6-3.
Syracuse quickly raised it to an 11-3 lead with help from Triche's first two baskets while his teammates added easy inside shots against Louisville's matchup zone. The Orange dominated on the boards as well with a 9-2 lead en route to 15-8 edge through 20 minutes.
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||24-49 (.490)||24-59 (.407)|
|3P Made-Attempted||7-15 (.467)||7-20 (.350)|
|FT Made-Attempted||15-20 (.750)||13-20 (.650)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||16 (0/0)||17 (0/0)|
Next 5 Games
ACC Conference Standings
Louisville is now 15-3 when committing 9 or fewer turnovers since 2009-10. Their two previous losses came against Georgetown. Since 1997-98, Louisville has never committed 9 or fewer turnovers vs Syracuse. The fewest turnovers committed by Louisville (against Syracuse) in a loss was when Louisville committed 13 turnovers in a 69-65 loss at the Carrier Dome on January 10, 1998.
Michael Carter-Williams scored 16 points and committed 8 turnovers in Syracuse's win on the road vs Louisville. The last Big East player to score 16+ points and commit 8+ turnovers in a road conference game was DePaul's Brandon Young at Providence on February 17, 2011 (17 points and 9 turnovers). DePaul won 79-76.
Michael Carter-Williams is the 3rd player with at least 16 points, 7 assists and 4 steals in a win over the No. 1 team in the last 15 seasons. The others were Kemba Walker in 2010 vs Texas and Derrick Byars vs Florida in 2007.
Peyton Siva scored 3 points in Louisville's loss to Syracuse on Saturday, his season low. It marked just the 7th time in his career to start a game AND score 3 or fewer points. Louisville is 2-5 in those games.
Saturday's win was Syracuse's fourth all-time against the AP No. 1 team. All four have come against Big East foes.[+]
Syracuse All-Time Wins vs AP No. 1
Michael Carter-Williams accounted for Syracuse's final 13 points, scoring 11 of them and assisting on the other 2 points. He had 8 turnovers in the first 32:30 but none in the final 7:30 as Syracuse came back to win the game.[+]
Michael Carter-Williams Today vs Louisville
ESPN Stats & Information