Mike Brey’s viewing selection for his players the night before meeting top-ranked Syracuse was an easy choice. The Notre Dame coach showed a video of former Irish teams upsetting No. 1 teams over the years.
Brey and the current group of Irish now have their own spot in that collection.
Jack Cooley scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds last night in South Bend, Ind., as Notre Dame upset No. 1 Syracuse, 67-58, and handed the Orange their first loss.
The Orange (20-1, 7-1 Big East) played without starting center Fab Melo, who did not make the trip and will not play tomorrow night against Cincinnati. Without Melo, the 6-foot-9-inch, 248-pound Cooley was a major force for Notre Dame (12-8, 4-3) and the Irish dominated the rebound battle, 38-25.
Fans stormed the court afterward, hoisting players on their shoulders in a wild scene. It was the eighth time Notre Dame has beaten a No. 1 team - that ties for fourth-most all time, with North Carolina having the most with 12.
“Notre Dame has an unbelievable history against No. 1 teams,’’ Irish forward Scott Martin said. “We saw a little video to just kind of pump us up a little bit.’’
Melo, who had started all of the Orange’s first 20 games, was their leading rebounder with 5.7 a game, and averaged 7.2 points and three blocks. School officials gave no explanation why the talented center did not make the trip.
“We had all week to prepare. 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.
James Southerland scored 15 points for Syracuse, which shot just 34 percent and was 7 for 23 on 3-pointers. 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.
Florida St. 76, Duke 73 - Michael Snaer hit a 3-pointer as time expired and the Seminoles stunned the No. 4 Blue Devils, snapping Duke’s 45-game home-court winning streak.
With the game tied, Luke Loucks sprinted up the middle of the court before zipping a pass over to Snaer in front of the FSU bench. Snaer quickly launched a shot that dropped cleanly through the net, sending the Seminoles’ bench spilling onto the 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 the Seminoles have beaten both Duke and North Carolina in the same season, the other time coming in 2002.
Austin Rivers had 19 points and tied the game on a driving basket with 4.9 seconds left for the Blue Devils (16-3, 4-1), who last lost at home against North Carolina in February 2009.
Missouri 89, Baylor 88 - Ricardo Ratliffe scored a career-high 27 points and the No. 5 Tigers held off a late rally by the No. 3 Bears to win in Waco, Texas.
Ratliffe had a big two-handed dunk midway through the second half when he scored 6 points in an 8-0 spurt that put Missouri (18-1, 5-1 Big 12) up, 68-58.
Marcus Denmon’s free throw with four seconds left made it 89-85 before Brady Heslip hit a 3-pointer for Baylor (17-2, 4-2), which has lost two in a row after a 17-0 start. Quincy Miller led the Bears with 29 points.
Kentucky 77, Alabama 71 - Darius Miller hit four free throws in the final minute as the No. 2 Wildcats (19-1, 5-0 Southeastern) held on to beat the Crimson Tide (13-6, 2-3) for their nation-best 47th straight home victory.
Ohio St. 79, Nebraska 45 - William Buford scored 15 points, Jared Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas had 14 apiece, and the sixth-ranked Buckeyes (17-3, 5-3 Big Ten) blew out the host Cornhuskers (10-9, 2-6) for the second time this month.
Kansas 69, Texas 66 - Tyshawn Taylor scored 22 points and Jeff Withey made a layup and free throw with 37 seconds left as the No. 7 Jayhawks (16-3, 6-0 Big 12) survived another tough fight with the Longhorns (12-7, 2-4) in Austin.
Michigan St. 83, Purdue 58 - Freshman Branden Dawson scored 14 points to help the No. 9 Spartans (16-4, 5-2) pull away and beat the visiting Boilermakers (14-6, 4-3).
Georgetown 52, Rutgers 50 - Otto Porter scored the final 6 points, including two free throws with 8.5 seconds left, helping the No. 10 Hoyas (16-3, 6-2 Big East) top the Scarlet Knights (11-9, 3-4) for the 10th straight time in Washington.
Murray St. 82, SIU-Edwardsville 65 - Isaiah Canaan scored 21 points and the No. 12 Racers (20-0, 8-0 Ohio Valley) were left the only unbeaten team in Division 1 with the easy road win.
UNLV 80, New Mexico 63 - Carlos Lopez scored 14 points in 14 minutes and the No. 14 Runnin’ Rebels (18-3, 2-1 Mountain West) got 28 points from their bench in a win over the visiting Lobos (15-4, 1-2).
San Diego St. 57, Air Force 44 - Chase Tapley scored 16 points and the No. 16 Aztecs (17-2, 3-0 Mountain West) beat the visiting Falcons (11-6, 1-2) for their 10th straight win.
Florida 76, LSU 64 - Erik Murphy scored 15 points and the No. 17 Gators (15-4, 3-1 SEC) had five players in double figures to beat the Tigers (12-7, 2-3) and extend their home win streak to 16.
Mississippi St. 78, Vanderbilt 77 - Dee Bost scored on a layup with 51.8 seconds left in overtime and the No. 18 Bulldogs (16-4, 3-2 SEC) beat the Commodores (14-5, 4-1) in Nashville for the first time since 2004.
Creighton 75, Indiana St. 49 - Doug McDermott finished with 12 points, a season low, but the No. 19 Bluejays (18-2, 8-1 Missouri Valley) routed the Sycamores (11-9, 2-7) for their eighth win in a row.
Arkansas 66, Michigan 64 - BJ Young scored 15 points and the host Razorbacks (14-5) hit their first 11 shots and never trailed on the way to an upset of the No. 20 Wolverines (15-5).
Marquette 79, Providence 72 - Jae Crowder scored 18 points to lead the No. 21 Golden Eagles (16-4, 5-2 Big East) past the host Friars. Bryce Cotten scored 28 points for Providence (12-8, 1-6).
Louisville 73, Pittsburgh 62 - Kyle Kuric scored 21 points and the No. 23 Cardinals (15-5, 3-4 Big East) handed the host Panthers (11-9, 0-7) their eighth straight loss.
Kansas St. 66, Oklahoma St. 58 - Freshman Angel Rodriguez scored 14 points in his second start and the No. 25 Wildcats (14-4, 3-3 Big 12) snapped an 11-game losing streak at Gallagher-Iba Arena by beating the Cowboys (9-10, 2-4).