Syracuse Orange
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Down goes no. 1! The Syracuse Orange put together an inspired performance to knock off the top-ranked Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Allison Case

Let’s be honest. When Duke loses, all of America wins.

And the Syracuse Orange are clearly big fans of making America happy.

In what can only be described as an improbable upset, the unranked Syracuse Orange went Durham, NC and outhustled the top team in the nation, just days after suffering their most embarrassing loss of the season to Georgia Tech.


Overall, the season has been a bit of a disappointment for the Orange, who fell out of the rankings early as they struggled to find their footing with a team full of exceptional young talent. However, this might be a step in the right direction for them.

In ‘Cuse’s 95-91 overtime victory, several Orange players found their stroke when it was imperative. Tyus Battle led the way with a 32-point performance and Paschal Chukwu nabbed 18 rebounds, a career-high for the big man.

While Duke lost Tre Jones early to injury and were without Cameron Reddish due to illness, they still had an impressive Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett to bring home the victory. Instead, Syracuse wore them down.

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Syracuse is a team that thrives on playing every single minute, as several of their players are on the court for the entire game. Duke is not so used to that.

The exhaustion became clear in the second half, as Syracuse began to drive and make Duke really work. But they were simply…tired.

That’s not to discredit Syracuse’s performance at all. They got a significant contribution from Elijah Hughes, who dropped 20 points, including an improbable 75-footer to end the first half. Chukwu also added 10 points off the bench while Frank Howard found his stroke with 16 points and Oshae Brissett added 14 points himself.

Overall, this was a huge victory for ‘Cuse to make a statement to not only the world but to the NCAA Selection Committee. By dropping the top-seeded team, ‘Cuse has shown they’re not dead yet. In fact, they’re very much alive.

The 12-5 Orange will run back to the snowy tundra of Syracuse to take on the Pittsburgh Panthers on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 2:00 p.m.

 


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