Syracuse Basketball: Ranking the 5 Greatest Shots in Orange History

Josh Schoch@JoshSchochAnalyst IIIMay 26, 2013

Syracuse Basketball: Ranking the 5 Greatest Shots in Orange History

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    There's nothing like a clutch shot to make a basketball game legendary.

    Throughout Syracuse's long, illustrious history among college basketball's greatest programs, there have been several shots that are simply incredible.

    The shots and players on this list are nothing short of legends, and appropriately so.

    Let's take a look at the five greatest shots in SU basketball history.

5. Andy Rautins Wins the 6-OT Thriller (2009)

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    OK, so Andy Rautins' three-pointer in the final overtime between Syracuse and UConn didn't actually win the game, but it did give the team its first lead in overtime, and that helped propel the Orange to a thrilling victory.

    Rautins hit six threes in the game, but none bigger than the one that would spark Syracuse's explosive sixth overtime, in which the Orange outscored the Huskies 17-7 for the win.

    Syracuse came away victorious in what remains the longest game in Big East history, thanks to the play of Rautins in the final minutes.

4. Pearl Washington Sinks Georgetown (1985)

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    When Georgetown came to the Carrier Dome on Jan. 28, 1985, the Hoyas featured a lineup including Patrick Ewing, Reggie Williams, Michael Jackson and David Wingate as the defending national champions.

    But Syracuse had Dwayne "Pearl" Washington.

    In the last minute of the game, Georgetown held a 63-62 lead and the ball. However, the Hoyas failed to get a shot off, turning the ball over with 34 seconds to play.

    Jim Boeheim turned to Pearl Washington with 16 seconds left and told him to take the final shot despite shooting 4-of-10 before the final shot.

    Washington sank a 15-footer for the lead, and the team would go on to win 65-63.

3. John Wallace's Three (1996)

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    John Wallace secured his place in Syracuse lore against Georgia in the Sweet 16 in the 1996 NCAA tournament.

    The Orange were up two with time winding down, but the Bulldogs came up the court and nailed a wide-open three to take the lead with 7.1 seconds left in the game.

    It looked like the game was just about over, but Wallace had other ideas, streaking down the court and launching an awkward, off-balance three for the win.

    The Orange would go on to reach the national championship game thanks to Wallace keeping the team alive in this one.

2. G-Mac's Big East Tournament Run (2006)

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    Every single shot Gerry McNamara hit in the 2006 Big East tournament was a big one, and he strung together the most ridiculous series of clutch shots I've seen.

    The team needed a deep run to make the Big Dance, and McNamara provided that run.

    It started with his game-winning three with 0.3 left on the clock against Cincinnati (as seen above).

    The next night, he hit a game-tying three that forced overtime against No. 1 UConn at the buzzer, and the team would go on to win the game.

    Georgetown was next, as G-Mac nailed five threes, with the last one coming in the final minute and elevating Syracuse to another victory.

    Finally, he would knock down the go-ahead three against Pittsburgh in the finals to win the tournament and secure a bid to the NCAA tournament for the Orange.

    Yeah, he had a pretty good tourney.

1. Dave Johnson's Championship Shot (1992)

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    Georgetown was 3-0 against Syracuse in the Big East tournament finals before 1992, and the 18-9 Orange looked like they were about to go 0-4 against their bitter rivals.

    Not so fast.

    Syracuse hung around throughout the game, and eventually the score was tied at 54 with just seconds remaining.

    Senior Dave Johnson took the ball and started driving to the rim before Georgetown center Alonzo Mourning came out and looked like he could stop Johnson.

    However, the crafty senior lofted a shot over Mourning's out-stretched arms to win the game, 56-54.