Syracuse University beat top-seeded Indiana University 61-50 to advance to the East regional final in men’s college basketball’s national championship.
The fourth-seeded Orange will play No. 3 seed Marquette for a place in the Final Four at the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament. The Golden Eagles beat the third-seeded Hurricanes 71-61 in the first game in the round of 16.
The meeting between the Hoosiers and the Orange last night was their first in the NCAA tournament since Indiana beat Syracuse in the 1987 title game. Indiana is the second of the four regional top seeds to be eliminated after Gonzaga lost its second game in the East region.
Syracuse took the lead for good at 4-3 after three minutes, 41 seconds at Verizon Center in Washington and led by 18 points with 3:22 to play in the first half.
In the last game of the day, No. 9 Wichita State defeated No. 13 La Salle 72-58 to reach the West regional final, where it will face No. 2 Ohio State. The Buckeyes earlier rallied from an 11-point first-half deficit to beat the Wildcats 73-70.
Arizona tied it at 70-70 with 21 seconds to play at Staples Center in Los Angeles before LaQuinton Ross’s 3-point jumper with two seconds remaining sealed the win for the Buckeyes. Deshaun Thomas led Ohio State with 20 points and Ross added 17.
Syracuse won its only NCAA title 10 years ago and is in the regional finals for the second straight year.
Marquette advanced to the round of eight for the seventh time. The Golden Eagles won the title in 1977, were runner-up three years earlier, and have reached the Final Four three times, most recently in 2003.
Wichita State last reached the round of eight in 1981 and won its only national title in 1965. The Explorers reached the round of 16 for the first time this year since 1955, when they finished runner-up, a year after claiming their only national title.
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