FSU's Michael Snaer, seen here in the middle of the group, celebrates with his teammates after hitting a 3-pointer at the buzzer to beat No. 4 Duke, 76-73.
DURHAM, N.C. — Michael Snaer acknowledged he never felt comfortable playing in one of college basketball's most hostile environments, from the rowdy fans perched on the sideline to the way Duke tried to pressure the Seminoles out of their offense.
One shot changed everything — and ended Duke's long reign on its famed home court.
Snaer hit a 3-pointer as time expired and Florida State beat the fourth-ranked Blue Devils 76-73 on Saturday, snapping Duke's 45-game home winning streak.
With the game tied, Luke Loucks sprinted up the middle of the court before zipping a pass to Snaer on the right side in front of the FSU bench. Snaer quickly launched the shot over Andre Dawkins that dropped cleanly through the net at the horn, stunning the once-rowdy crowd at Cameron Indoor Stadium and sending the Seminoles' bench spilling onto "Coach K Court" in celebration.
"When it went in, I didn't know what to think," Snaer said. "It was amazing."
Snaer's basket gave the Seminoles (13-6, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) a fourth straight win, which includes last weekend's 33-point home rout of preseason No. 1 North Carolina. It marked only the second time in school history that the Seminoles have beaten both Duke and North Carolina in the same season, the other time coming in 2002.
It marked the first home loss for the Blue Devils (16-3, 4-1) since falling to the eventual national champion Tar Heels in February 2009. It also ended Duke's 64-game home winning streak against unranked opponents, which began after a one-point loss to Florida State five years ago.
"There's not too many times teams can come in and win at a hostile environment like Duke and a great team like Duke," Loucks said. "We just kind of saw an opportunity here and went ahead and seized it. After the jubilation and jumping around in the locker room, the whole speech was that we're not finished. We only have four ACC wins right now, and that's not going to get us into the (NCAA) tournament."
Xavier Gibson led Florida State with 16 points, while Snaer scored 14 — including a banked-in 3 to beat the buzzer on the final play of the first half.
Duke led by nine in the first half and by eight midway through the second, but the Seminoles just wouldn't let the Blue Devils pull away to tie a school and ACC record for the longest home winning streak. Instead, they kept attacking and knocking down tough shots.
In fact, Snaer knocked down a pair of clutch shots in the final minute. On the first, he drove into the paint and knocked down a pull-up for a 71-70 lead with 55.8 seconds left. Then — after Austin Rivers tied the game on a driving basket with 4.9 seconds left — Snaer answered with an even bigger one, putting him at the center of a celebration that migrated all the way across the court to stand in front of a stunned group of Cameron Crazies.
"The kid hit a beautiful shot," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said.
FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said the shot looked good to him, prompting a reporter to ask him if he had any doubts it would go in.
"None whatsoever," Hamilton said as he playfully looked to the ceiling. "That's my story and I'm sticking to it."
Duke came in ranked last in the ACC in field goal percentage defense, an unusual stat for Krzyzewski's program. Florida State finished this one at 54 percent, including 67 percent (18 for 27) in a tense second half. The Seminoles scored 50 points after halftime.
Rivers hit a free throw to give Duke a 70-69 lead with 1:13 left, but he missed the second and Snaer followed with his basket for the lead. But Loucks and Gibson each went 1 for 2 at the line in the final 35 seconds, setting up Rivers' final basket that put Duke within reach of overtime.
Duke had won 46 straight at home from 1997-2000, and most of the wins in the current 45-game streak had come by double-digit margins. Duke overcame its own 40-percent shooting by knocking down 10 3-pointers. The Blue Devils also dominated the offensive boards and outscored Florida State 20-6 on second-chance points, but they couldn't come up with a final stop.
"It's so frustrating because we prepare so well and work so hard," Rivers said. "Everybody fought. I don't think anybody was lazy. We were blow for blow and they got that last blow in, the last shot at the last second."
Rivers had 19 points to lead Duke, while Dawkins had 14.
Ole Miss edges Georgia, 66-63
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Terrance Henry can't really say why Ole Miss struggles so badly at the free-throw line.
As long as the Rebels win, however, Henry believes his team will be just fine.
"We're used to it," Henry said. "That's our M.O. We grind it out on defense, take what we can get on offense. It wasn't new to us, so we were used to a game like that."
Henry scored 24 points, Nick Williams and Murphy Holloway added 12 and Mississippi held off a late surge from Georgia for a 66-63 victory on Saturday.
The Rebels (13-6, 2-2 Southeastern Conference) have won two straight and three of four.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope finished with 25 points and Gerald Robinson had 19 for Georgia (10-9, 1-4).
"No one is happy," Robinson said. "Almost doesn't count in basketball. We just lost. We didn't put ourselves in position to win the game. We didn't finish like we should have."
Ole Miss' Jarvis Summers made one of two free throws to give the Rebels a 10-point lead with 47 seconds remaining, but Henry and Summers showed why their school ranks last in SEC's free-throwing shooting, combining to miss their next four foul shots as Georgia twice cut the lead to two points in the final 23 seconds.
"It's certainly not the way we would have drawn up finishing the game," Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said, "but the bottom line is they got it done."
With 9 seconds left, Henry hit one free throw but missed the second attempt. Dustin Ware grabbed the rebound for Georgia and made a long pass to Robinson in the right corner, but Robinson's 3-point attempt bounced off the rim.
Nemanja Djurisic picked up the loose ball on the left side, but he launched a 3-point attempt that bounced off the rim and was pulled down by Henry at the buzzer.
A few more good free throws would have given the Rebels a more comfortable margin, but they went 20 of 35 from the foul line. Summers and Reginald Buckner combined to go 4 of 15.
"Guys that just have to step up and make them," Williams said. "We made some at the end to push it to three. That was big for us. Terrance made that last one, so they had to take a 3."
Buckner, the SEC's leading rebounder, finished with six points and 10 boards.
Georgia, which never led after Robinson's jumper made it 8-7 early in the first half, continued to struggle offensively.
The Bulldogs began the game ranked last in SEC scoring (61.9 points) and managed to lower the league's worst field-goal percentage to 39.9 percent after hitting just 23 of 63 attempts.
Ole Miss' zone defense caused Georgia fits throughout the game. The Bulldogs spent many possessions passing the ball around the perimeter, winding down the shot clock and then firing up a low-percentage shot.
Defensively, the Bulldogs gave the Rebels too many open looks by not disrupting their passing lanes.
"It's very disappointing the way that we played for most of the game today," Georgia coach Mark Fox said. "We scratched and clawed our way back, but you have to play every minute of every game to win in this league. We couldn't do that and we didn't deserve to win the game."
Ware went 0 for 7 beyond the arc and is now 6 for his last 31.
Demarco Cox's layup with 14:24 remaining gave Ole Miss its biggest lead at 14. The Rebels improved to 12-2 when leading at halftime.
Henry, who scored 15 points in the first half, looked as if he had put the game out of reach with a jumper that made it 62-50 with 1:11 remaining. Williams was disappointed that Ole Miss allowed the Bulldogs to work their way back in the final minute.
"We were back on our heels, and I guess you could say we were playing not to lose because we were up so much," Williams said. "They got some momentum and hit some shots. It happens in college basketball. People make shots. People make runs, but like I said, we ended strong.
Georgia hosts No. 2 Kentucky on Tuesday. Ole Miss' next game is Thursday at home against No. 17 Florida.
No. 1 Syracuse falls
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Syracuse was Fab-less rather than fabulous Saturday night, and now the top-ranked Orange are no longer unbeaten.
With center Fab Melo not making the trip, there was a noticeable hole in the middle of the defense against Notre Dame on Saturday night. But the biggest problem for the Orange in their first loss after a school-record 20 straight victories to open the season was making shots.
"Fab is the key to our defense. He's an anchor. It wasn't that, though. Our offense wasn't going today," Syracuse's Scoop Jardine said following a 67-58 loss to Notre Dame on its loud and wild home floor.
"Fab only averaged six points for us. That's not too much points," Jardine said. "You know, we missed him truly but we needed to make more shots regardless."
James Southerland scored 15 points for Syracuse, which shot just 34 percent and was 7-for-23 on 3-pointers.
"That is pretty embarrassing," Jardine said of the Orange's accuracy from the arc.
Jack Cooley had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Notre Dame. Without Melo in the middle, Notre Dame's 6-foot-9, 248-pound center was a major force as the Irish won the rebound battle 38-25.
"I can't even describe this right now. They were 20-0. I can't put it to words how amazing this is," Cooley said. "We came out with energy. This was a great opportunity and we didn't want to squander it."
Melo had started all 20 of the Orange's first games, was their leading rebounder with 5.7 a game, averaged 7.2 points and three blocks. School officials gave no explanation why the talented center did not make the trip. He will also miss Monday's game against Cincinnati.
"We had all week to prepare for Melo (not playing). We didn't know for sure (he would not play), but we were prepared for it," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said, without elaborating on the reasons.
"I don't know how he affected the game because he wasn't here."
Southerland's 3-pointer with 53.9 seconds left brought the Orange to within 62-56 before the Irish held on as Jerian Grant sank four free throws in the final 32 seconds.
It was the first time the Irish have beaten a top-ranked team since 1987 when they defeated North Carolina, also in South Bend. One of the Irish's most dramatic victories over a No. 1 came in 1974, when they stopped UCLA's 88-game winning streak by 71-70, also on the Irish's homecourt.
Notre Dame has now beaten a No. 1 team eight times.
"The energy in the building is as good as I remember in my 12 years," said Notre Dame coach Mike Brey, who showed his team a video Friday night of past Irish teams that had upset No. 1s. Now he's part of that history and he also has 250 wins at Notre Dame.
Boeheim was denied his 877th career victory, which would have put him in sole possession of fourth place among Division I men's coaches.
Notre Dame led in the first half by as many as 18 and was up 35-23 at the half, shooting 54.4 percent and holding the Orange to 2.6 (8 for 18). Syracuse was only 4 of 13 from the 3-point line and was beaten on the boards 20-13 as Notre Dame seemed to be half-step quicker.
"We knew that. It's been like that all year for us. We're the No. 1 team in the country and we're going to get everybody's best shots," Jardine said. "We knew Notre Dame was going to come out and make some shots. For the most, we didn't bounce back fast enough and that's why we lost."
Syracuse got off to a better second-half start and whittled the lead to eight less than three minutes in. But Martin hit another 3-pointer for the Irish as the shot clock was winding down and Cooley — benefiting from Melo's absence — bulled his way in for a layup to restore the lead to 12. Cooley then dropped in two free throws and Martin again sank a 3-pointer and the Irish were rolling with a 17-point lead.
The Orange then went on a 9-2 run and Kris Joseph's 3-pointer made it a 10-point game with 7:43 to go. Syracuse again cut it to eight before Cooley roared down the court for a dunk with just over five minutes left.
Pat Connaughton, inserted into the Irish starting lineup, had a pair of 3s in the early going and Notre Dame bolted to an 11-2 lead.
Notre Dame kept up the long-range accuracy, making four of its first six attempts. And when Eric Atkins grabbed a rebound and went the length of the floor for a layup, the Irish were up 21-10 as the fans at Purcell Pavilion went wild.
And without Melo in the middle, the Irish were all over the boards with an early 13-4 advantage.
Now it's on to Cincinnati for a Monday night game against the Bearcats, where the Orange will once again have to go without their Fab.