Each Thursday over the summer, The Juice Online will be counting down the top 10 moments in the 2013-14 basketball season. We continue our countdown with No. 8, Syracuse’s 56-55 win over NC State at the Carrier Dome on Feb. 15.
WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse’s record-setting streak lived on, if just barely.
Mired in one of their worst shooting nights of the season, the Orange had just enough defense to pull out a thrilling win and move to 25-0 on the year. Syracuse trailed by one with 13 seconds left and the Wolfpack had possession. NC State inbounded to Anthony Barber, who was immediately trapped in the corner, and forced an errant pass that Rakeem Christmas intercepted.
Christmas fed Tyler Ennis, who found a streaking CJ Fair for a layup that was whistled a goaltend, giving Syracuse a 56-55 lead with six seconds left. With no timeouts, the Wolfpack could only muster a contested TJ Warren shot at the buzzer that clanked harmlessly off the rim as the buzzer sounded.
The original start time was pushed back four hours after a snowstorm prevented NC State from arriving at Syracuse on time. That delay only seemed to embolden the Wolfpack, who seemed poised to end their seven game road-losing streak against ranked opponents.
The game wasn’t without controversy. With 14.7 seconds left, Warren caught a long baseball pass and went up for a layup. He was fouled in the back by Trevor Cooney, but the call was that the foul had occurred on the floor instead of in the act of shooting.
NC State was forced to inbound the ball, which set up Syracuse’s go-ahead score.
It made up for an otherwise dismal shooting night from the Orange, who shot 35 percent from the field, and a paltry 2 for 12 from downtown.
WHY IT’S NO. 8: Another game. Another thrilling win. Syracuse had just defeated Pittsburgh on Wednesday night after a buzzer-beating 3-point heave from Tyler Ennis at the buzzer, so it shouldn’t have been surprising that the Orange needed another dramatic sequence to pull out the win. It was the Orange’s record-setting 25th win to start the season, and final win before they started their late-season tailspin.
Check in next week as we reveal No. 7 on our countdown.