Syracuse 62, Pittsburgh 57

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- It was an old-fashioned physical battle, the type of game that epitomized the rich history of the Big East Conference.
And when it ended, Syracuse was left standing with a 62-57 battle-scarred win over Pittsburgh in the quarterfinals of the tournament before an announced sellout crowd of 19,763.
The win sets up a marquee matchup of No. 19 Syracuse and No. 5 Georgetown in the semifinals Friday.
Syracuse (25-8) received 20 points from forward James Southerland, 13 points from C.J. Fair and 12 from Brandon Triche. No. 18 Pittsburgh (24-8) was led by Lamar Patterson's 14 points.
The two teams will take their rivalry to the ACC next season as part of an exodus from the 34-year-old conference.
Every loose ball was seemingly contested Wednesday afternoon. Open looks were as rare as a Jim Boeheim smile. Pittsburgh center Steven Adams had the scars to prove it -- two huge scratches on his right shoulder.
Southerland gave the Orange a 55-47 cushion with a 3-pointer with 5:33 to go, but Pittsburgh would cut that lead to one at 58-57 with 32 seconds left on a Talib Zanna layup. Zanna was fouled but failed to tie the score when his free throw attempt rimmed out.
Michael Carter-Williams grabbed the rebound and was promptly fouled. The sophomore guard sank both shots to give the Orange a 60-57 lead. On Pitt's next possession Carter stole the ball near mid court, was fouled again, and hit both shots to make it 62-57 with 10 seconds left.
The first-half lead changed nine teams, with Syracuse getting some breathing room when Fair drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Orange a 40-27 cushion.
Pittsburgh played catch-up after going ahead 14-12 with 9:58 left in the half. Syracuse erased the deficit by going on a 15-3 run to grab a 27-15 lead at the 4:58 mark. Triche led the charge with seven points and Southerland added six points on two of his five 3-pointers of the half.
Southerland was 5 of 5 from beyond the arc in the first half.
NOTES: Syracuse has posted winning Big East records in 32 of 34 seasons. ... The victory gives the Orange the most wins (77) in Big East Tournament history.

What to Read Next