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NCAA Game Summary - Syracuse vs. Marquette



(Saturday, March 30th)

Final Score: Syracuse 55, Marquette 39

Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Jim Boeheim's long and athletic 2-3 zone has Syracuse back in the Final Four.

And in their last year in the Big East, the Orange cut down the nets on the home floor of their most bitter rival.

Michael Carter-Williams filled the stat sheet with 12 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks in Syracuse's 55-39 win over Marquette in the East Regional final at the Verizon Center.

It's the Orange's first trip to the Final Four since 2003, when the Carmelo Anthony-led squad won the national championship. The 68-year-old Boeheim has led Syracuse to four Final Fours, all in different decades -- 1987, 1996, 2003 and 2013.

The 6-foot-6 Carter-Williams, who defends at the top of the zone and turned the ball over just once Saturday, was named the regional's top player.

Syracuse will face the winner of the South Regional final between Michigan and Florida in the Final Four next Saturday.

It was a matchup between schools from the soon-to-be-radically-different Big East. Syracuse (30-9) will move to the ACC next season, while Marquette (26-9) is one of the "Catholic 7" schools that is leaving the conference and taking the Big East name with them.

"We will miss not having them in our league," Marquette head coach Buzz Williams said. "I think that the institution and the program that he has created is comparable to any in the country."

The vaunted 2-3 zone has been unsolvable thus far in the NCAA Tournament, not even by a Golden Eagles team that beat Syracuse a little over a month ago.

That loss to Marquette was during a 1-4 stretch to close the regular season, but this isn't the same Orange team.

It's not the same Orange defense.

Syracuse built momentum in the Big East Tournament. The Orange defeated Seton Hall, Pittsburgh and Georgetown before blowing a 16-point second-half lead against Louisville in the title game.

In the NCAA Tournament, fourth-seeded Syracuse held Montana to 20.4 percent (11-of-54) from the field in the second round, California to 39.3 percent (22- of-56) in the third round, Indiana to 33.3 percent (16-of-48) in the Sweet 16 and the Golden Eagles to a woeful 22.6 percent (12-of-53) Saturday.

"It's been a great transformation," Boeheim said. "Our defense ... has been tremendous in this tournament."

The Orange have held nine teams below 20 percent from beyond the arc on the season, including all four of their games during the NCAA Tournament.

Marquette was just 3-of-25 from 3-point range.

James Southerland led all scorers with 16 points, while C.J. Fair added 13 points for Syracuse, which had a 17-0 advantage in points off turnovers.

"A tremendous, tremendous defensive effort," Boeheim said.

Marquette's lowest point total of the season prior to Saturday was 47, but the Golden Eagles struggled to even get a shot off at times against the zone.

"They beat us from start to finish. We collectively tried everything we knew to try," Williams said. "It is the zone, and it is the players in the zone."

Vander Blue, who came in averaging 19.7 points over three games during the NCAA Tournament, led the Golden Eagles in scoring with 14 points, but was just 3-of-15 from the field.

Davante Gardner added 14 points for third-seeded Marquette, which last went to the Final Four in 2003 when it was led by Dwyane Wade.

Syracuse stormed out of the gate and jumped out to a 19-7 lead before the 290- pound reserve Gardner, who had a career-high 26 points on a perfect 7-of-7 shooting in the win over the Orange in February, led the way.

Marquette began to play through Gardner in the high post and he had seven points during an 11-2 Golden Eagles surge to get them within 21-18. But Southerland hit a triple to stop the burst and the Orange headed into the break with a 24-18 cushion.

Gardner was 4-of-5 in the opening 20 minutes, while the rest of his teammates combined to go 3-of-21.

The Golden Eagles hung around during the first eight-plus minutes of the second half before Syracuse seized control.

Fair made a layup, Southerland recorded a three-point play and Carter-Williams hit a jumper during a quick 7-0 Orange spurt that helped them build a 37-25 margin with 10:56 to play.

A Blue trey at the other end got the Golden Eagles within nine, but they never cut the deficit below that the rest of the way.

"They cover ground really good," Blue said of the zone. "You've got to get the ball in the middle, you've got to play inside out, you've got to get to the free-throw line and wear them down with the 3-pointer when you can."

Game Notes

A Big East team has reached a Final Four in each of the last five years ... Syracuse shot 38 percent from the field (19-of-50) ... The Orange led by as many as 19 ... Gardner was 6-of-9 from the floor ... Marquette committed 13 turnovers, while the Orange gave the ball away just six times.

03/30 23:06:28 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCSU 24
GASO 23
Final
DUKE 52
ELON 13
 
Final
UNC 56
LBRTY 29
7:05pm Saturday
NOR 4
DUR 1
 
Final
ECU 52
NCCU 7
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
Final
TOR 2
NYY 0
Final
CWS 6
DET 3
Final
STL 1
CHC 5
Final
PIT 3
CIN 2
Final
BAL 3
MIN 2
Final
TAM 7
BOS 0
Final
KAN 2
CLE 3
Final
CWS 4
DET 8
Final
ATL 0
MIA 4
Final
NYM 2
PHI 7
Final
HOU 2
TEX 0
Final
ARI 0
COL 2
Final
STL 13
CHC 2
Final
SDP 2
LOS 1
Final
SFG 3
MIL 1
Final
ANA 2
OAK 0
Final
SEA 1
WAS 3
1:07pm Today
TOR
NYY
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
PHI
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
CIN
 
1:35pm Today
BAL
MIN
 
1:40pm Today
TAM
BOS
 
2:10pm Today
CWS
DET
 
2:10pm Today
HOU
TEX
 
2:15pm Today
STL
CHC
 
3:35pm Today
ANA
OAK
 
4:05pm Today
SFG
MIL
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
COL
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
LOS
 
4:10pm Today
SEA
WAS
 
5:10pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
8:07pm Tonight
KAN
CLE
 
Final
MICH 52
APPST 14
Final
NAVY 17
OSU 34
Final
UAB 48
TROY 10
Final
UVA 20
UCLA 28
Final
PURD 43
WMICH 34
Final
NCSU 24
GASO 23
Final
UMASS 7
BC 30
Final
NW 24
CAL 31
Final
NEB 55
FATL 7
Final
UMO 27
MARS 42
Final
ND 48
RICE 17
Final
MIZZ 38
SDST 18
Final
ALA 33
WVU 23
Final
AUB 45
ARK 21
Final
STAN 45
UCD 0
Final
UGA 45
CLEM 21
Final
UNC 56
LBRTY 29
Final
KSU 14
OHIO 17
Final
OKLA 48
LATU 16
Final
KST 55
SAUST 16
Final
USC 52
FRES 13
Final
MSST 49
SMISS 0
Final
OKST 31
FSU 37
Final
TEX 38
UNT 7
Final
NMU 24
UTEP 31
8:05pm Saturday
UF 0
IDAHO 0
Final
LSU 28
WISC 24
Final
OREG 62
SD 13
 
Final
HAW 16
WASH 17
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENN
UTST
7:30pm Tonight
BAY
SMU
Final
DUKE 52
ELON 13
 
Final
ECU 52
NCCU 7
 
7:05pm Saturday
NOR 4
DUR 1
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR