The Cardinals led, 23-19, at the half. Trailing, 7-3, Louisville went on a 9-0 run to take a 12-7 lead and the Cardinals never trailed again the rest of the half.
Gorgui Dieng, who finished with 14 rebounds and 11 points, scored four points in that 9-0 spurt.
Twice in the first half the Orange sliced its deficit to one. But Smith's three-point play and Chane Behanan's basket boosted Louisville's lead to 23-17 late in the half.
Fair led the Orange with 10 points in the first half as he reached double figures for the 19th consecutive game. Syracuse shot only 27 percent in the first half (9-for-33, including 1-for-8 from 3-point range) and 36 percent (20-for-56) for the game.
NOTES: The series now stands at 14-7 in favor of the Cardinals. ... Peyton Siva of Louisville recorded one steal Saturday and has 222 in his career. He needs seven to break Darrell Griffith's school record. ... With his 136th career start Saturday, Syracuse's Brandon Triche moved past Gerry McNamara and into third place on the Orange's all-time list. ... A monster dunk by Chane Behanan of Louisville over DePaul's Worrel Clahar on Wednesday ranked No. 5 on ESPN's top plays for February. ... When Syracuse defeated the Cardinals at the KFC Yum! Center on Feb. 19, it was the first time a No. 1-ranked team had lost at home since Connecticut lost to Pittsburgh on Feb. 16, 2009. ... Saturday's coaches have combined for 1,542 victories (Syracuse's Jim Boeheim at 912, Louisville's Rick Pitino at 630). Pitino was an assistant on Boeheim's first coaching staff in 1976-77.