When the buzzer finally sounded, when Wisconsin's threes finally stopped raining through the hoop, when that last Wisconsin three-point attempt clanged off the rim and Syracuse won a 64-63 heart-stopper, freshman guard Michael Carter-Williams sprinted to center court and embraced senior point guard Scoop Jardine.
The seconds passed, and the two held on to each other: Carter-Williams, the baby-faced rookie, and Jardine, the veteran engine that makes this team run. The cheers of Syracuse fans reverberated through TD Garden. The two young men didn't say anything, just soaked in the joy of knowing that once again they'd proved their doubters wrong. It was only as the teams began to line up for handshakes when the two finally let go.
This is what it feels like when a season of off-court drama, a season that could have gone down as the darkest in Syracuse history, gets one game away from becoming one of the finest seasons this basketball program has ever seen.