While we remember the heartache as sports fans perhaps even more, the end of a decade gives us some time to reflect on the most enjoyable sports plays on the Syracuse side from the past 10 years.
10. Trill Williams Takes It Back
We start the list with the most recent euphoric play we’ve seen and in a sobering season of Syracuse athletics, honestly one of the few euphoric plays really in recent time. The 2019 Syracuse football season will go down as a huge disappointment and at the end of the day, this play didn’t “mean” a whole lot because of that. But, if we’re just talking how remarkable one singular play was from this decade it’s right up there. This was a exciting, truly epic way to end the seniors career and finish off a season that was anything but.
9. Elijah Hughes Full Court Buzzer Beater at Duke
Syracuse’s win at number 1 Duke against Zion last year is one of the most shocking results of the decade in SU sports. Fresh off getting blown out at home to ACC cellar-dweller Georgia Tech to knock them well outside the bubble at the time, the Orange bounced back with an OT win at Cameron two days later. Ironically, like Tyler Roberson in the 2016 upset at Cameron, Paschal Chukwu, a fellow modest big man from this decade, had his best game of his SU career in 2018 at Coach K’s court.. The craziest play of the game came at the halftime buzzer though. That’s when you knew it might be a special night for the Orange.
8. Brisley Estime Texas Bowl Return
You can debate how much winning a bowl game actually matters. Brisley Estime’s 70 yard punt return to set Terrell Hunt up for the game-winning touchdown over Minnesota in the 2013 Texas Bowl was pretty cool though. Feels fitting to give some love to Estime, who made tons of electrifying plays this decade, on this list, too.
7. Tyus Battle Clemson Buzzer Beater
Another guy who really deserves to have at least one play on this list: Tyus Battle. One of, if not the, most clutch athletes of the decade. The Clemson shot was his first moment of many more to come from the March step-backs, G’Town game-winner, and FSU explosion. You could make a case the Georgetown shot was bigger because it was a rival. This shot was crazier though because it was a true buzzer beater. I love watching Jim’s reaction to this as he heads toward the handshake line.
6. Tommy DeVito UNC Bullpen OT Winner
Some might say this is too high because it was a win over UNC. However, this was unquestionably the fork-in-the-road moment of the most memorable football season in twenty years for Syracuse. If Dino hadn’t pulled Dungey for DeVito who knows how that season is remembered. He did though and the freshman came in chucking right away, leading the massive comeback at home in a game they really couldn’t lose.
5. Braedon Beyer Block at Michigan State
This is the most unlikely of the top plays of the decade. Just the fact that Beyer, a former walk-on, played the final minutes of a sweet 16 game in the first place is shocking. But, despite all that, Beyer managed to block future lottery pick, Miles Bridges, with roughly 90 seconds left to help Syracuse secure the monumental upset. It is moments like that which makes sports and March Madness so great.
4. Eric Dungey Camping World Scramble
We had to get Eric Dungey on this list and what play to better represent him as a player. In the biggest win and final game of his career, this play wasn’t a buzzer beater or game-winning touchdown, but it’s just Dungey, one of the best athletes of the decade, being Dungey.
3. Malachi Richardson UVA Double Goggles Three
The second half of the Elite 8 win over Virginia in 2016 is maybe the best Syracuse sports moment of the decade. The culmination of the #10 seed that no one thought should be in the tournament to making it to the final four. It was madness (no pun intended) watching them come back with the press against the toughest team in America to come back against. The Tyler Lydon shoeless three comes to mind too, but the other freshman Richardson, is who really stole the show. 21 second half points, including this three which led to the signature double goggles pose that will forever be etched in Syracuse basketball march history.
2. Tyler Ennis Heave at Pittsburgh
Ah, back when Syracuse was good at regular season basketball. The year they went all the way to number one and started the year 25-0 had tons of memorable moments. The Ennis play, though, was downright shocking, exhilarating and incredible. One of the crazier college basketball buzzer beaters of the decade.
1 . John Gillon Duke Buzzer Beater
The most euphoric Syracuse play of the decade. It’s a slight edge over Ennis because the Gillon shot was at home, so the inevitable court-storming pandemonium followed. And well it was against Duke. In the decade that saw Syracuse shift to the ACC, this is about as strong as it gets. I’d be surprised if anyone reading this doesn’t remember where they were when this shot banked home.
p.s. if you make it to the end of that Gillon video please enjoy Dickie V with his mic still hot saying “holy s5@t” and “I don’t even know Ron Jaworoski”