Syracuse Orange Guard John Gillon (26 points, 6 assists)
Syracuse entered play on Wednesday on a three-game losing streak and firmly on the bubble for the NCAA tournament. Duke entered this matchup riding a seven-game winning streak, propelling them to #10 in the country and within one game of ACC leaders North Carolina. This game offered Syracuse a perfect opportunity to stamp their tournament resume with a high-quality win, and they did just that. The Orange defeated the Blue Devils 78-75, thanks to John Gillon banking in a three pointer at the buzzer. He finished with 26 points and 6 assists on 9 for 14 shooting. 19 of those points came in the second half.
What a win for the Orange when they desperately needed it the most. This upset of a top 10 team should be enough to get them into the NCAA tournament. Syracuse can consider themselves fortunate to even be in position to pick up that win. Duke took a 33-25 lead into the locker room at halftime, but they made numerous mistakes and botched about four or five easy layups on fast break opportunities, so the lead easily could have been 15 or 20. As is usually the case in the Carrier Dome, the Orange came out with an early second half run to claw back into the game, and it was back and forth from there. Gillon carried the team on his shoulders and made big shot after big shot when Syracuse needed it most. His buzzer beater is arguably the most significant shot this season, and with March just around the corner, expect only more chaos in college basketball as we move forward.