Saturday, January 19, 2013
King: Carter-Williams clutch for Syracuse
By Jason King
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Before heading back to Syracuse on Saturday, point guard Michael Carter-Williams spent 15 minutes signing autographs at Louisville's KFC Yum! Center.
Coach Jim Boeheim's smile was wide as he took pictures with friends and family in a nearby tunnel. As they emerged from the locker room, Syracuse players still had a few sweat beads on their foreheads.
Not just from their 70-68 victory over No. 1 Louisville, but from the celebration that took place afterward.
It was an unlikely scene, to be sure. Syracuse -- playing without its second-leading scorer -- becoming the first team since 2009 to knock off the nation's top-ranked squad on its home court. One week after nearly losing to Big East bottom-feeder Providence, the Orange entered Saturday's game as a 7.5-point underdog, and some thought the spread could have been higher.
"Everyone talking about the game said we had no chance," said Boeheim, pausing and offering the slightest smirk.
"You always have a chance."
Especially with players such as Carter-Williams on your roster. After a first half in which he tied his career high with six turnovers -- "I couldn't have been any worse," he said -- Carter-Williams turned in what might have been the most clutch performance of the college basketball season to date.
A sophomore, Carter-Williams came up with two steals and snared a mammoth defensive rebound -- all in the final 29 seconds -- to catapult sixth-ranked Syracuse to victory.