Record crowd of 35,446 ignites Syracuse in thrilling win over Duke

first_imgAt one point during No. 2 Syracuse’s (21-0, 8-0 Atlantic Coast) incredible 91-89 overtime victory against No. 17 Duke (17-5, 6-3) on Saturday, C.J. Fair caught himself looking at a replay on the video boards.Maybe it was Jerami Grant’s two-handed turnaway of Jabari Parker. Maybe it was Rakeem Christmas’ spin move-to-dunk over Amile Jefferson.Fair doesn’t remember the specific play. It was all a blur, more or less. He just remembers play starting up again and him getting caught up in the moment.“You have to live the moment,” Fair said. “You can picture it and visualize everything, but it ain’t like it until you walk out there on the court.”The on-campus record 35,446 fans that packed into the Carrier Dome — some so far down that they were in the opposite end zone — rocked and roared throughout the 45 minutes of historic basketball. They screamed when Fair converted a go-ahead three-point play with 3:28 left and groaned when Rasheed Sulaimon sent the game to overtime at the buzzer. And when Quinn Cook’s final desperation attempt went long, they nearly blew the roof off the Carrier Dome.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“The crowd was really unbelievable,” Fair said. “I’m surprised every week at how much energy they have cheering us on, and it makes us want to play that much harder for them.“They really help control the momentum of the game too, especially when they started hitting shots, it kept us composed and helped us get back into the game.”Tyler Ennis said he got caught up in the moment as well. He said he looked up into the crowd at one point and was just taken aback by the environment. He couldn’t look up again.But Ennis did notice the crowd play a factor once more. On Sulaimon’s buzzer-beater, Fair attempted to foul the Duke guard around half court.He got an arm on Sulaimon as he ran by, but there was no whistle.“With the noise, I think the refs kind of got caught up watching the play as well,” Ennis said. “…It was kind of an iffy call.”As the players walked back to the bench, the shocked fans soon snapped into an “I believe that we will win” chant. The Carrier Dome came back to life as the roller coaster ride of a basketball game continued for five more minutes.Finally, when Cook’s final try missed, the crowd stood and roared one last time.“You can’t go anywhere else and have this kind of atmosphere,” Grant said. Comments Published on February 2, 2014 at 2:46 pm Contact Stephen: [email protected] | @Stephen_Bailey1 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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