- Associated Press - Sunday, February 23, 2014

DURHAM, N.C. — It’s been a wild week for No. 5 Duke. After losing to their most hated rivals, the Blue Devils took down the No. 1 team.

Duke capped its crazy four-games-in-eight-days stretch with its first victory over a top-ranked team since 1997, a 66-60 win over Syracuse on Saturday night.

That it came less than 48 hours after falling apart late in a loss to North Carolina made it somewhat more satisfying.

“It was a really tough time just trying to get focused because it was easy for us to feel bad for ourselves or feel some type of sympathy since we lost so bad” to UNC, freshman Jabari Parker said. “But we were men, we manned up and we had to try and do what we had to do today.”

Rodney Hood scored 13 points and drew the game-changing charging call with 10.4 seconds left that led to two technical fouls and an ejection for Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim — who called the block/charge “the worst call of the year.”

Parker had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Blue Devils (22-6, 11-4 Atlantic Coast Conference).

The first meeting between these teams was an overtime game considered an instant classic and won by Syracuse. The rematch was just as close but it will be remembered more for Boeheim’s exit with about 10 seconds to play.

“Both teams were worthy of winning this game, and both teams were worthy of winning up there,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “So going 1-1 was probably the way it should be.”

Syracuse had the ball down 60-58 when Fair drove for an apparent tying layup.

But official Tony Greene whistled Fair for charging — and Boeheim shot onto the court to argue. Greene slapped him with two technical fouls and ejected him.

“People will remember this one for 30 years because the old coach went out there and got a little excited,” Boeheim said. “I think the fans will remember Jim Boeheim down here. Two great games.”

Quinn Cook iced it by hitting three free throws to make it 63-58.

That helped the Blue Devils bounce back from the 74-66 loss to North Carolina — which was postponed Feb. 12 because of a winter storm that glazed area roads. The rescheduling meant Duke would play four games in eight nights. Duke beat Maryland on Feb. 15 and won at Georgia Tech on Tuesday before the loss at North Carolina.

The victory over Syracuse — their ninth win over a No. 1-ranked team — prevented their first regular-season losing streak since 2009 and it extended their winning streak at Cameron Indoor Stadium to 31 games.

“That’s the way it’s going to be in the ACC tournament and then the NCAA,” Parker said. “We’ve got to play back-to-back competitive games, but I think we’re going to get used to it.”

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