With the scored tied at 65, the Orangemen called timeout with 10.8 seconds. Syracuse, who ran a spread offense following the timeout, inbounded to Gerry McNamara (nine points). The freshman drove past his defender and attempted a scoop layup over two defenders. The shot sailed wide, but right into McNeil's hands, as he softly put it in.
Pitt called timeout following McNeil's shot in time, but the clock ran out as fans stormed the court in celebration. It was ruled that Pitt would have .8 seconds restored to the clock.
The Panther's prayers were almost answered when Brevin Knight nailed 40-footer as time expired – despite the fact that fans rushed the court for a second time. But after a brief delay so officials could look over the replay, they ruled that Knight's shot had come after the buzzer, causing fans to rush the court for a third time.
Syracuse's crowd, 30,030, was the largest in the nation to see a college basketball game this season.
McNeil turned out to be the unlikely hero, from the line of all places, where McNeil had hit just 28.6 percent from the season. McNeil said he was nervous, but the team put him in that position to win the game.
The backup center's shot capped what turned out to be a brilliant run for the Orangemen, who trailed by 13 at halftime. Syracuse propelled itself back in the game by switching to man-to-man coverage rather than their famous 2-3 defense.
Hakim Warrick led the Orangemen with 20 points, Carmelo Anthony had 14 points and 13 rebounds and Kueth Duany added 15.
Chevy Troutman led Pitt with 16 points.
Pitt shot 3-for-22 from 3-point range, as Julius Page scored just five points after scoring 25 against Syracuse in their last meeting.
The Panthers went on a 13-0 run, led 43-31 at half, and took a 49-36 lead early in the second half. But the Orangemen went on a 9-0, including five points from Warrick, to close the gap.
Syracuse stuns No. 2 Pitt
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