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Syracuse Drops Second Straight Game in Loss at Duke

After a game for the ages earlier this month, No. 5 Duke and No. 1 Syracuse will square off again on Saturday.

After a game for the ages earlier this month, No. 5 Duke and No. 1 Syracuse squared off again on Saturday.

The Syracuse Orange and Duke Blue Devils have already formed quite a rivalry in their first year as ACC foes. In two games, the home team has won both with College Game Day in the house. Both went right down to the wire and both left the feeling even the losing team could wind up winning it all. Both games were at least greatly affected by a controversial offensive foul call late in the game, or at least a non-call that went against the offense.

In this week’s game at Cameron Indoor Stadium, a late charge call went against the Orange that had coach Jim Boeheim so upset he went baseball manager on the officials and wound up getting tossed. The bad news though is in basketball that also comes with free throws so it actually does cost your team points. In a tight game that can be huge. And it was. With the Blue Devils up to with about 30 seconds to play, C. J. Fair was called with a charge. If Boeheim doesn’t blow up, they can still send Duke to the line. But instead he was hit with two techs which led to four free throws and possession. Duke hit three and that was that.

Poised to take over the #1 spot when this week’s polls come out, the Florida Gators won for the 19th straight game 75-71 over the Ole Miss Rebels. Michael Frazier, as usual, broke the game open with a late three pointer to stretch the Gators lead to 71-63 with about 2:30 to play. Marshall Henderson had 22 points for Ole Miss in the first half as they went to the locker room tied at 42-42. But he was shut out in the second half as Florida avenged a loss in last year’s SEC Tournament Championship game won be Ole Miss. Scottie Wilbekin led Florida with 18 points and Frazier chipped in 17. It was the sixth consecutive game that UF went into the halftime locker room without the lead and they are 6-0 in those games.

The Arizona Wildcats got an impressive road win over the Colorado Buffaloes 88-61. This game was all Arizona from the start as the Buffs did not get their first field goal until midway through the first half. the Wildcats then went out and shot an eye-popping 84% in the second half. Colorado did show some fight after finally making their first bucket to go on a 16-4 run. That closed the gap to 26-21 and forced Arizona to call a timeout. But after that the Wildcats went off on another run. Aaron Gordon led them with 23 points and Nick Johnson chipped in 20.

The Wichita State Shockers remained the only unbeaten team in major college hoops when they beat the Drake Bulldogs 84-53. The Shockers were led by Tekele Cotton with 21 points and Fred Vanvleet and Darius Carter added 15 each. the Shockers are now 29-0.

So these should be your four #1 seeds right now: Florida, Wichita State, Syracuse and Arizona. Had Duke beaten the North Carolina Tar Heels on Thursday, they might have passed the Orange. Your #2 seeds right now are most likely Duke, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Kansas.

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