The No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange may have secured a Big East Conference men's basketball regular-season title, a No. 1-seed in the league tournament and NCAA Tournament, but they will have a lot to play for Saturday when they host the 19-ranked Louisville Cardinals in their regular-season finale at the Carrier Dome (4 p.m. ET on CBS).
A victory would help Syracuse (29-1, 16-1 Big East) complete the best regular-season in Big East and program history, while capping a unblemished home schedule for the first time since 2002-03, its only National Championship season. Also it send off seniors, point guard Scoop Jardine and forward Kris Joseph, who each will be honored in pregame ceremonies for Senior Day, the right way.
This will be the first game for the Orange since defeating the Connecticut Huskies, 71-69, in Storrs, CT. last Saturday.
Leading by as much as 17 points in the second half, Syracuse escaped with its ninth straight victory when sophomore center Fabricio Melo slammed home a put-back with 31 seconds remaining.
Joseph finished the contest with 21 points and seven rebounds, while Melo added 11 points and nine rebounds.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals (22-8, 10-7) have lost three of their last five games, including a 58-51 loss at home to the South Florida Bulls on Wednesday.
In the front end of that time span, is a home loss to Syracuse, 52-51, at the KFC Yum! Center which snapped a seven-game win streak over the Orange.
This contest is the last game before the start of the Big East Conference Tournament, March 6-10.
Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange. Make sure to follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY orJaredSmithCNY, as we live blog from the Carrier Dome.