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One of the most impressive streaks in college basketball was kept alive with one of the wildest finishes of the season.
Duke blew a five-point lead in the final 9.6 seconds of regulation, but the fifth-ranked Blue Devils came up big in overtime for a 92-88 victory over North Carolina State.
The win was Duke's 27th straight in the Atlantic Coast Conference, tying the record set by North Carolina State from 1972-75. The Blue Devils (14-2, 5-0), who won their 14th straight overall and 44th straight at home, can break the record Saturday at Wake Forest.
``Any time you can win 27 in a row in this great league, it says you're playing hard all the time, 110 percent every time you step out on the court,'' said Chris Carrawell, Duke's only senior, who finished with a career-high 30 points and played all 45 minutes.
Carrawell had five points in overtime, one less than freshman teammate Carlos Boozer of Juneau, who scored six of his 24 points in the extra period. Boozer shot 8-of-10 from the floor and 8-of10 from the free-throw line, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked four shots.
``Carrawell was a magnificent warrior,'' Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. ``I was truly honored to be his coach. He has developed into such a tough kid.''
In other games involving ranked teams Wednesday, it was No. 1 Cincinnati 75, Memphis 55; No. 4 Auburn 65, South Carolina 61; No. 6 Syracuse 82, Pittsburgh 72; No. 12 Oklahoma State 73, No. 14 Texas 65; Colorado 88, No. 17 Oklahoma 80; No. 18 Kentucky 74, Mississippi 69; and No. 24 Maryland 73, Wake Forest 51.
N.C. State (12-3, 3-2) trailed by point with a chance to win the game in regulation, but Justin Gainey fell to the floor with the ball and called a timeout his team didn't have. Duke made two free throws on the technical and two on the ensuing possession.
But after a layup by Marshall Williams of the Wolfpack and a turnover by Duke with 2.8 seconds left, Shane Battier fouled Gainey from 3-point range with 0.8 seconds left.
The senior point guard made the first, missed the second, then missed the third on purpose, and Williams put back the rebound for a 79-79 tie at the buzzer.
Television relays appeared to show the red light was on, signaling no time left before the shot left Williams' hand.
``To be able to recover from situations like that is a sign of outstanding kids, and my kids really responded,'' Krzyzewski said. ``That's one of the better things I've seen any of my teams do. They did it, I didn't do it.
``It's an emotional downer when you feel like you had the game won, but we played so magnificently in the overtime. Boozer was exceptional at the end of the game and the overtime. Battier's pass to him (Boozer, midway through the overtime period to put Duke up by four) was one of the big plays of the game.''
Ron Kelley matched his season high with 17 points to lead the Wolfpack.
``For the most part, we played with excellent composure,'' N.C. State coach Herb Sendek said.
No. 1 Cincinnati 75, Memphis 55
Kenyon Martin had a career-high 28 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and tied the school record with 10 blocks as the Bearcats (17-1, 5-0 Conference USA) extended their home winning streak to 40 games.
Cincinnati turned a close game into a blowout with a closing 21-9 run. Keiron Shine had 22 points for Memphis (8-9, 1-3), which started the game 1-for-20 from the field, the only points coming on a goaltending call against Martin.
No. 4 Auburn 65, South Carolina 61
The Tigers (16-1, 4-0 Southeastern Conference) won their 14th straight by going 5-for6 from the foul line in the final 49 seconds.
Scott Pohlman had 19 points for Auburn, 12 on 3-pointers. Freshman Chuck Eidson had 24 points for the visiting Gamecocks (9-8, 1-3), who lost their third straight.
No. 6 Syracuse 82, Pittsburgh 72
Reserve freshman DeShaun Williams, scoreless his last three games, had a seasonhigh 23 points as the Orangemen (15-0, 5-0 Big East) remained the only unbeaten team in Division I.
Syracuse remained unbeaten in Pittsburgh since the 1991-92 season by going 14for-14 from the foul line in the second half. Ricardo Greer had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Panthers (8-7, 0-4), who have lost four straight and five of six.
No. 12 Oklahoma St. 73,
No. 14 Texas 65
Desmond Mason scored 30 points, including the first eight of the second half when the Cowboys (14-1, 3-0 Big 12) took the lead for good.
They sealed the win by going 12-of-14 from the free-throw line in the final 1:48. Chris Mihm had a season-high 24 points for the visiting Longhorns (11-5, 3-1).
Colorado 88, No. 17 Oklahoma 80
Jaquay Walls scored 17 of his 28 points in the final 10:42, including going 13-of-14 from the free-throw line, as the Buffaloes (10-6, 1-3 Big 12) snapped an 11-game losing streak to Oklahoma.
Eduardo Najera had 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Sooners (14-3, 2-2), who dropped their second straight road game.
No. 18 Kentucky 74, Mississippi 69
Jamaal Magloire had 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Wildcats (12-5, 3-1 Southeastern Conference), who won for the eighth time in nine games and finished with a 45-35 rebound advantage. Kentucky, last in the league in shooting, struggled again, going 24-for-59 (40.7 percent), including 3-of-17 from 3-point range. Marcus Hicks had 27 points and 10 rebounds for the visiting Rebels (12-6, 0-5).
No. 24 Maryland 73, Wake Forest 51
Lonny Baxter scored 12 of his 18 points in a game-opening 24-4 run as the Terrapins (12-5, 1-3) snapped a three-game losing streak and finally posted a victory in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Darius Songaila had 14 points for the visiting Demon Deacons (11-6, 2-3), who shot 29 percent, including 2-for-10 from 3-point range, and committed 20 turnovers.