Syracuse Wins "Road" Game vs. Cal to Give Big East 3rd Sweet 16 Team
Road wins have been hard to come by this college basketball season, but Syracuse basically won on the road Saturday 2800 miles away from home when they beat Cal in San Jose to give the Big East three teams in their final Sweet 16 before realigning. The Big East improved to 6-5 in the tournament after a tough start that included Pitt and Notre Dame looking very slow when being upset. The Pac12 has had a great tournament that included Arizona and Oregon making the Sweet 16 earlier in the day, but could not get another 12-seed into Sweet 16.
Syracuse's 2-3 zone frustrated Cal for most of the night, but Cal put on a strong run late in the game with teh crowd roaring for the rally. With the full court press forcing late Syracuse turnovers, Pac12 player of the year had two costly turnovers to give the ball back when he had a heel out-of-bounds before a pass was thrown to him, and then was called for a charge. Those two turnover helped Syracuse weather the storm and nail down the game, 66-60.
Crabbe drove for a layup in between the two turnovers to cut the lead to 59-53, but Baye Keita had a dunk to break a press and then hit two free throws and Cal could get no closer. CJ Fair led a balanced attack for Syracuse with 18 points.
Richard Solomon had a monster night for Cal with 22 points and 13 rebounds in the losing effort.