As we feared and expected, the suspension of Buddy Boeheim gave Syracuse a huge emotional advantage in this game and it was almost enough to give the Orange the victory. The good news was that in the stretch run, unlike against UNC last weekend, Duke stepped up and took control of the game, winning 88-79. But with 2:57 left, it was a one point game and not looking that great.
The game changed when Cole Swider picked up his fourth and while he wasn’t out for long, the tone of the game changed and Duke was able to seize control, albeit narrowly.
Duke looked rattled for a while, knocked back by the intensity of Syracuse’s emotional play, and really, they were terrific. The Orange went on three point binges, with Swider, Jimmy Boeheim and Joe Girard just bombing way.
Jeremy Roach, Wendell Moore, Mark Williams and Paolo Banchero all had a huge hand in securing the win. Banchero got an awkward shot in the lane, but it went in. Then Williams got a block. Roach made a huge three with 1:08 left to push the lead to six and then Boeheim and Girard each missed a three.
Williams followed those with a dunk off a Trevor Keels assist then got the ball back after Girard missed a three and hit one out of two free throws to give Duke the nine point win.
We have nothing but respect for what Syracuse did here and for those who assumed this was going to be a runaway win, you really need to think more about basketball precedent and basic psychology.
Duke advances to play the winner of the Miami-BC game. Jim will be along soon with his take.
- ALL TOO WENDELL: Duke men’s basketball gets boost from Moore, Roach in thrilling win against Syracuse
- Three points: 3-point advantage key as Duke men’s basketball goes for ACC tournament win against Syracuse
- Top-seeded Duke survives close game with Syracuse, advances to ACC tourney semifinal
- Without Buddy Boeheim, Syracuse gives Duke huge scare in 88-79 loss in ACC tournament
Player Of The Game vs. Syracuse
This poll is closed