SYRACUSE, N.Y. — With the score tied and the clock ticking down in the final minute, Syracuse's Jerami Grant drove the lane, and when his shot didn't fall arms flailed all around the rim trying to corral the ball.
Somehow, it trickled in with 19.4 seconds left, and the No. 3 Orange escaped with a 57-55 victory over No. 21 Cincinnati on Monday, its second scintillating win in three days.
"We didn't want to lose," said Syracuse guard Michael Carter-Williams, whose 3-pointer from the top of the key tied it at 55 with 80 seconds left. "None of us like losing. We wanted to do anything to win that game. We picked up our intensity and our energy. We should have found that in the first half."
Syracuse (18-1, 6-0 Big East) trailed by seven with just more than 5 minutes left but rallied for the victory in the final minute just as it had at then-No. 1 Louisville on Saturday in a 70-68 win. Carter-Williams' steal and slam dunk put the lid on that victory over the Cardinals.
"Louisville was a tough, gritty game. We're banged-up and sore," Carter-Williams said. "To come back one day later and beat Cincinnati is a great feeling."
The Bearcats (16-4, 4-3) had won three straight.
G'TOWN 63, NO. 24 NOTRE DAME 47: Otto Porter scored 19 for the visiting Hoyas, and the Fighting Irish (15-4, 3-3 Big East) lost for the third time in four games and set a season low for points.
SAVANNAH ST. 43, B-CU 40: Preston Blackman hit two free throws with 2 seconds left to lift the host Tigers over the Wildcats (7-13, 2-3 MEAC).
FAMU 89, S.C. STATE 77: Jamie Adams had 28 points as the visiting Rattlers (5-14, 2-3 MEAC) snapped an eight-game skid.
Bulls G may not return
USF senior guard Shaun Noriega, out for the past six weeks with a stress fracture in his foot, may not play again this season, coach Stan Heath said, though the former starter would be eligible for a medical redshirt.
"I don't know if Shaun's going to return," Heath said. "He's still not ready to go. We've used so much time that I don't know if, by the time he got ready to go, it would help him. We're going to look at different scenarios for him and talk about different things."
Complicating matters, sophomore guard Musa Abdul-Aleem, whose delayed arrival due to his own foot injury had coincided with Noriega's injury, is out again with back problems and has not played in USF's past two games.
NO. 14 OHIO STATE: Coach Thad Matta agreed to a revised contract which will give him a 10 percent increase to more than $3.2 million annually and includes academic bonuses and more stringent wording about NCAA violations.
NO. 22 MISSOURI: Leading scorer Laurence Bowers will likely miss his fourth game tonight against South Carolina. The senior forward has been rehabbing a sprained right knee he injured Jan. 5 against Alabama.
AP POLL: Duke is No. 1 after dropping from the top spot for one week. No. 25 Miami is one of four newcomers, along with No. 20 Wichita State, No. 21 Cincinnati and No. 23 Mississippi. They replace San Diego State, Illinois, UCLA and Marquette.
NO. 3 UCONN 79, NO. 4 DUKE 49: Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis scored 21 as the host Huskies (17-1) routed the Blue Devils (16-1), who were the last unbeaten team in Division I.
NO. 8 PENN ST. 59, NO. 23 MICHIGAN 49: Maggie Lucas scored 19 for the visiting Lions (15-2, 5-0), who snapped a tie with the Wolverines (15-3, 4-1) for first place in the Big Ten.
AP POLL: Baylor remains No. 1 for a third straight week. Michigan State entered the poll at No. 25 while Kansas fell out.
Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report.