Instant Juice: Syracuse 70, Louisville 68

A quick take on Syracuse’s 70-68 win over Louisville on Saturday afternoon:

WHAT HAPPENED: Michael Carter-Williams had struggles against Louisville’s pressure defense, but had a steal late in the game and raced down the court for a dunk to give Syracuse a 69-68 lead. He added another free throw with 13 seconds left and Louisville turned the ball over on the final possession of the game as the Orange upset the No. 1 team in the country. Syracuse’s defense held the Cardinals scoreless in the final 1:58, forcing three turnovers after the Cardinals had lead for the majority of the game.

» What did you think of SU’s performance?

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MCW overcame his early turnover problems

ANALYSIS: This game was billed as a battle of two of the elite defenses in college basketball, and lived up to its preview. Louisville had come in averaging more than 19 turnovers a game on defense with a vicious press, and forced the Orange to turn the ball over 15 times (MCW had 8 of them). Meanwhile, SU was tops in the Big East, allowing opponents to shoot just 35 percent from the field. The Cardinals shot 40 percent from the field, were 7-20 from downtown and were 65 percent from the line. It was also Syracuse’s second game, and first true test, without sixth man James Southerland. Jerami Grant picked up the playing time for the second straight game, and responded with 10 points and 5 rebounds in 35 minutes.

» Related: Three commits nominated for McDonald’s game

HERO: Triche started with hitting his first six shots of the game, single-handedly keeping the Orange within striking distance while SU struggled in the first half. He had 18 in the first half and finished with 23. Carter-Williams had the 8 turnovers but hit several big shots in the final minutes and finished with 16 points. Aside from the steal for the breakaway dunk, he also hit a 3-pointer that gave Syracuse a 64-62 lead with 5:30 left, SU’s first lead since 18-16 earlier in the first half. Russ Smith had 25 to lead the Cardinals.

ZERO: Peyton Siva had another off game against the Orange, shooting 1-9 from the field, 1-7 from downtown, for 3 points.

WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse returns home to play Cincinnati on Monday.

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Wes Cheng

About Wes Cheng

Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.
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