Notre Dame-Syracuse Preview

The Associated Press

Syracuse will go right back to work after ascending to the No. 1 ranking.

Notre Dame also had to work overtime over the weekend to end a three-game slide.

These former Big East rivals meet for the first time in the ACC when the Orange try to drop the Fighting Irish to 0-6 on the road Monday night.

Syracuse (21-0, 8-0) survived its stiffest test of the season Saturday with a 91-89 overtime victory over then-No. 17 Duke before a Carrier Dome-record crowd of 35,446. The Orange trailed 87-84 with 80 seconds left in the extra session.

"It was just a great game," coach Jim Boeheim said after career victory No. 941. "I don't think I've ever been involved in a better game in here where both teams played at such a high level. Both teams just went after it. We've had a lot of games that have been here that are great. There's never been one as good as this one."

Syracuse is off to the best start in school history and moved to No. 1 thanks to previously unbeaten Arizona's loss at California on Saturday.

The Orange can become the fifth team in the last 10 seasons to open with 22 victories. That group includes No. 4 Wichita State, which is 23-0 as the nation's only other unbeaten team.

C.J. Fair scored a career-high 28 points Saturday after averaging 14.0 on 36.0 percent shooting over his previous four contests.

"I knew for us to win I would have to contribute offensively," said Fair, who made 12 of 20 shots. "I was able to not force things once I got going. I felt I was the hot hand and my teammates kept giving me the ball."

Fair led the way with 18 points and 10 rebounds in last season's 63-47 home win over Notre Dame (12-10, 3-6) in the lone 2012-13 matchup.

That contest was the first meeting between brothers Jerami Grant of the Orange and Jerian Grant of the Fighting Irish. There won't be another since Jerian is no longer enrolled at Notre Dame.

Coach Mike Brey's team is the only ACC squad yet to win on the road, but enters the Dome looking to build on Saturday's thrilling 76-73 overtime win over Boston College. Eric Atkins hit a 3-pointer with 1 second left after missing a potential winning free throw in regulation.

"It's a heck of a win for us, man," Brey said. "Much needed. We had a little bit of everything over the last two hours in there."

Atkins scored 16 of his 24 points after halftime and the senior has a decided edge in experience over freshman Tyler Ennis, his point guard counterpart. Ennis is second in the ACC in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.90.

These teams both shoot 46.1 percent, and the Irish are slightly better on 3-pointers (36.0 to 34.9).

Garrick Sherman leads Notre Dame with 14.5 points per game. He did not play in last year's meeting and his lone appearance against the Orange came Dec. 7, 2010 with Michigan State.

The Irish have dropped nine of their last 11 visits to Syracuse, losing the last three by an average of 15.6 points.

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