Syracuse went into the tough KFC Yum! Center and came out victorious on Saturday. The sixth-ranked Orange knocked off the No. 1 Louisville Cardinals 70-68 behind 23 points from senior guard Brandon Triche.
Triche was a key to the victory, grabbing six rebounds and shooting 5-of-7 from three-point land.
Sophomore point guard Michael Carter-Williams struggled for most of the game, but he finished strong and was a huge factor in the result. Carter-Williams, who finished with 16 points and seven assists, only shot 31 percent from the field but was there when his team needed him.
He scored Syracuse's final four points and made a key steal late in the game then finished it off with a spectacular dunk to help seal the win.
What makes this victory even more impressive is that it was done without James Southerland, who is suspended due to an academic issue. The senior is the first man off the Orange bench and is averaging 13.6 points a game in 26.3 minutes.
Freshman Jerami Grant filled in for Southerland for the second straight game and pitched in 10 points and five rebounds while playing a career-high 35 minutes.
Head coach Jim Boeheim has to be impressed at how his team handled a tournament-like test in a tough environment. There were certainly some mistakes that need to be fixed, but overall, the Orange played a solid game.
The team committed a total of 15 turnovers, a number that will have to be reduced come tournament time. Carter-Williams, who leads the nation in assists, made eight turnovers against the Cardinals.
Despite the mistakes, Syracuse got its first signature win of the season and looks poised to make a run at a No. 1 seed come March.
Louisville was led by guard Russ Smith, who scored 25 points in the game.