After pulling off a major upset of the nation's top-ranked team over the weekend, the third-ranked Syracuse Orange narrowly avoided an upset of their own against the 21st-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats on Monday, 57-55. The win improves Syracuse's record to 18-1.
Coming off a 70-68 victory over No. 1 Louisville on Saturday, Syracuse trailed by seven points to the Bearcats with just over five minutes left in Monday's game. Cincinnati couldn't convert opportunities on offense down the stretch, though, allowing the Orange to climb back into the game and eventually avoid the loss.
Focusing heavily on three-point shots, the Bearcats generally struggled shooting from the field throughout the game. 32 of Cincinnati's 55 shots came from beyond the arc, which helps to explain why the team made less than 33 percent of its total attempts for the game.
The Bearcats were able to hang around and put pressure on the Orange thanks to an impressive effort on the boards. Facing one of the top rebounding teams in the nation, the Bearcats posted an impressive 33-25 advantage on the boards, nabbing 13 offensive rebounds to keep a struggling alive afloat.
Michael Carter-Williams had a big game for Syracuse, leading the team with 16 points and seven assists, including a ravishing dunk late in the first half. His best performance came down the stretch, though, hitting a pair of key shots as the Orange climbed back in the final minutes of the game.