(4) Wisconsin 63

(26-10, 12-6 Big Ten)

(1) Syracuse 64

(34-2, 17-1 Big East)

    Coverage: CBS

    7:15 PM ET, March 22, 2012

    TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

    1 2 T
    #4WIS 27 3663
    #1SYR 33 3164

    Top Performers

    Wisconsin: J. Taylor 17 Pts, 4 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Syracuse: C. Fair 15 Pts, 7 Reb, 4 Stl

    Syracuse advances as Wisconsin runs out of time

    Associated Press

    BOSTON -- Syracuse will be playing for a spot in the Final Four because of numbers.

    C.J. Fair put up some like he hadn't in a while, and the Orange finished with offensive statistics that Wisconsin just doesn't allow in a 64-63 victory in the East Regional semifinals Thursday night that wasn't secure until the final buzzer.

    "Offensively, we played very, very well and we had to play very, very well," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said.

    Fair finished with 15 points -- five fewer than he had in the past six games combined -- on 7 of 9 shooting. The Orange scored 11 more than the Badgers allowed on average in leading Division I.

    Syracuse shot 55 percent from the field, well above the 38.5 percent Wisconsin gave up this season, and the Orange were 5 of 9 from 3-point range, much better than the 28.8 percent the Badgers allowed.

    All those numbers mean the Orange (34-2) will play Ohio State in the regional final Saturday with a trip to New Orleans at stake.

    "I can't tell you how good it feels to win a game like this," Boeheim said. "This was a great, great game."

    And it wasn't decided until Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor missed a 3-pointer with 3 seconds left. Josh Gasser corralled the rebound but his toss toward the basket was off at the buzzer.

    "It was on line, and I felt like I got my legs into it," Taylor said. "I knew it was a deep 3, but it felt good, and then to see it kind of come up short was kind of heartbreaking."

    Kris Joseph, a 75 percent free-throw shooter, had missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 18 seconds to go with Syracuse up by a point, giving the Badgers (26-10) a chance at the victory.

    Passing the ball around the perimeter of the zone but not creating much space, Wisconsin had to settle for Taylor's shot.

    "We were just trying to get an open shot and try and make them rotate in the zone," Taylor said. "We did a little bit, but they did a good job of recovering to open guys there. They used the length that they have and kind of forced us into a tough shot, and it obviously didn't go down. So it was tough. Hats off to them."

    The Badgers finished 14 of 27 from 3-point range but couldn't make one over the final 6 minutes after a stretch in the second half when they made six straight in as many possessions.

    "I think we naturally tried to move out," Boeheim said, referring to Syracuse's famed 2-3 zone. "But you've got to get them off their spots. We didn't do that for a stretch out there. But they have terrific ball movement, and they have five guys that can shoot. There aren't that many teams like that."

    Scoop Jardine had 14 points for Syracuse, while Dion Waiters had 13 and Brandon Triche 11.

    But it was Fair who made the difference after not being a factor late in the season.

    The 6-foot-8 sophomore forward, the Orange's fifth-leading scorer at 8.3 points per game, was 7 of 27 from the field over a six-game stretch. The Orange had been struggling offensively as well, failing to reach 60 points three times in their past seven games.

    "Sometimes you just need to see the ball go in the rim," Fair said.

    Jared Berggren and Taylor both had 17 points for Wisconsin, which came in allowing 52.9 points per game.

    Syracuse reached that many points with 9 minutes to play, but there were two lead changes and two ties still to come.

    "It was a nailbiter, but we made some plays down the stretch and got a couple of stops," Fair said.

    Wisconsin, which averaged 7.7 3-pointers per game and has a season high of 15, hit its last 3 with 7:03 to play when Taylor gave the Badgers their final lead of the game, 59-56.

    Syracuse went ahead for good on a spin move by Waiters with 6:03 to play, but the lead was never more than three points.

    Gasser made two free throws with 31 seconds left to bring Wisconsin within 64-63.

    "I think that was the best game anybody has ever played against us and didn't beat us," Boeheim said.

    The win was No. 890 overall for Boeheim, third on the all-time list, and it was his 48th in the NCAA tournament, breaking a tie for fifth place with John Wooden.

    "Syracuse just has too many athletes that can do so many things, and it's hard to prepare for that on the defensive end. You think you're getting things done, but you're a step behind," Badgers coach Bo Ryan said. "So we did the best we could, and I thought we played great defense. Not everybody on the court agreed with that, but I thought we played unbelievable defense for the most part."

    Syracuse won again without starting center Fab Melo, who was declared ineligible for the tournament by the school just days before the Orange opened with a shaky win over 16th-seeded North Carolina-Asheville.

    The Badgers were trying to reach the regional final for the first time since 2005.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 63 64
    FG Made-Attempted 21-49 (.429) 27-49 (.551)
    3P Made-Attempted 14-27 (.519) 5-9 (.556)
    FT Made-Attempted 7-12 (.583) 5-9 (.556)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 12 (0/0) 13 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 6 10


    » Mar 22, 2012 @SYR 64, WIS 63Recap

    Research Notes

    Syracuse outscored Wisconsin 30-10 in the paint during its win over the Badgers on Thursday. The Orange are now 33-0 this season when they score at least 20 points in the paint. Wisconsin only scored two paint points in the second half and did not attempt a shot in the paint in the final 14 minutes of the game.
    Syracuse beat Wisconsin, shooting 55% from 2-pt range and 55.6% from 3-pt range. Wisconsin shot 51.9% from 3-pt range but just 31.8% from 2-pt range.
    Syracuse had 52 possessions in this game. That is the fewest possessions for a Syracuse team in any game in the last 15 seasons. Previous low was 54, done twice (1999 vs Princeton and 2006 vs West Virginia, both wins).
    The Orange finally breakthrough in the Sweet 16....snapping a 3-game losing streak in the round. The last time they won a game in the Sweet 16, they won the National Championship in 2003.
    Syracuse allowed 14 3-pt FG vs Wisconsin, the 2nd-most the Orange have allowed in a Men's Basketball Championship game. The most is 15 in a 1995 win over Southern Illinois.
    Wisconsin took 3-point lead with 7:05 left at 59-56 on a Jordan Taylor 3-pointer. Syracuse finished the game on an 8-4 "run" on the strength of taking the ball to the paint while Wisconsin settled for 3-pointers. The Orange had a 5-1 rebound advantage as well in the closing stretch.
    Syracuse shot 50 percent outside the paint on Thursday and is 11-for-18 (61.1 percent) from 3-point range over its last two games. In its previous two Sweet 16 games, the Orange shot under 30 percent from outside the paint and lost both games. Five players combined to make all 12 of Syracuse's field goals from outside the paint against Wisconsin.

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