It might be the best college basketball game played during the 2013-14 season. Syracuse defeated Duke 91-89 in overtime in front of 35,446 Carrier Dome fans. The game was played at an extremely high level, with both teams making big plays at critical moments.
Neither team could pull away from the other, with seven points the largest lead for either side. The Orange were in control for most of the second half, but Duke refused to go away.
Syracuse seemed to have the game won late, until Rasheed Sulaimon drilled a three-pointer as the regulation buzzer giving college basketball fans five more minutes of stellar play.
The game stayed tight in overtime, with the outcome in doubt until Quinn Cook's jumper fell harmlessly to the floor giving Syracuse one of the best regular season wins in program history.
Not a bad debut for what could become one of the better rivalries in college basketball. Two elite programs with the two winningest coaches in division one history. It was a game Jim Boeheim called one of the best with which he has ever been involved.
The Orange frontcourt were stars, with C.J. Fair and Jerami Grant putting up huge numbers. Rakeem Christmas had one of the most complete games of his career. Tyler Roberson even had some solid minutes in the first half.
Trevor Cooney broke out of his slump with an efficient contribution.
Now, Syracuse has to face those same Duke Blue Devils that made 15 three-pointers in the first meeting. This time, both teams are coming off losses and looking to bounce back. The Orange have not had a solid offensive performance since they shot 57% against Duke three weeks ago.
In the movies, sequels rarely live up to the original. Will that be the case on Saturday? The Orange certainly hope the outcome is the same.