No. 1 Louisville stunned at home

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.

The sophomore just knew he had to redeem himself, and his second-half recovery helped the sixth-ranked Orange rally for a 70-68 upset Saturday.

It was the second straight Saturday that No. 1 went down. On Jan. 12, Duke was beaten by then-No. 20 North Carolina State, 84-76.

A record crowd of 22,814 at the KFC Yum! Center saw Syracuse beat a No. 1 team for the 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. He scored nine of his team’s final 11 points, including the last four.

Carter-Williams added a rebound and another steal at the end to cap a 16-point, seven-assist game that made it easy for him to forget a five-point first half and those two missed free throws.

“I wasn’t going to go out without a fight,” Carter-Williams said. “They were pressuring us, coming at us in the first half. 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.”

Brandon Triche shot 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. 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.”

The Orange won their seventh straight and beat the Cardinals for the third time in a row.

Russ Smith’s 25 points led Louisville (16-2, 4-1), which had won 11 straight. The Cardinals began the week with the 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.

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