College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, February 22, 2017
The bank was open for John Gillon.
With time running down and the scored tied at 75, the Syracuse guard let fly from 25 feet, the ball banking in off the backboard for the game winner as Syracuse prevailed at home over the #10 Duke Blue Devils, 78-75.
Gillon finished with a game-high 26 points on 9-for-14 shooting including three of five from three-point range. The Orange had trailed by as many as ten points in the first half, but trimmed Duke’s advantage and the game was tight for the final ten minutes. Syracuse never led by more than two points until Gillon’s heroic buzzer-beater.
Sending the partisan Syracuse crowd at the Carrier Dome into a court-rushing frenzy, the 17-12 Orange kept alive their hopes of receiving an invitation to the upcoming NCAA national championship tournament. It was the third win over a top 10-ranked team for the Orange. They previously upset Florida State and Virginia.
The victory leaves the Orange at 9-7 in the ACC with just two games remaining in the regular season. A Syracuse win on Sunday at #7 Louisville would likely result in a bid to the big dance, but a Marcvh 4 win over Georgia Tech in their regular season finale at home and a good showing in the ACC tournament would also weigh mightily on the selection committee’s decision.