Washington • It took winning a national title for Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim to get over a late-shot loss to Indiana the last time the schools played in the NCAA tournament.
This meeting, 26 years later, was never close enough to come down to the final seconds, thanks mostly to Boeheim’s trademark 2-3 zone defense. Now he has the Orange one victory from getting back to the Final Four.
Limiting Indiana to its lowest output of the season while forcing 19 turnovers and blocking 10 shots, fourth-seeded Syracuse used Michael Carter-Williams’ 24 points to upset the No. 1 seed Hoosiers 61-50 Thursday night and reach the East Regional final.
“Our perimeter defense was tremendous,” Boeheim said. “This is one of our best defensive teams ever. They play it well.”
After getting past preseason No. 1 Indiana, Syracuse (29-9) will face No. 3 seed Marquette on Saturday night in an all-Big East matchup for a berth in the Final Four. Boeheim and the Orange haven’t been to the national semifinals since Carmelo Anthony led them to the 2003 title.
Marquette beat No. 2 seed Miami 71-61 in Thursday’s first game in Washington.
Syracuse, which is leaving for the Atlantic Coast Conference this summer, lost at Marquette 74-71 during the Big East regular season on Feb. 25. Less than a half-minute into Thursday’s game, as Indiana star Victor Oladipo headed to the free-throw line, the arena’s overhead scoreboard showed a replay of “The Shot,” as it’s come to be known — Keith Smart’s baseline jumper in the final seconds that lifted Bob Knight’s Hoosiers past Boeheim’s Orange in the 1987 national title game.
Boeheim said he wasn’t able to put that behind him until 16 years later, when he got his title.
Marquette 71, Miami 61 • After sweating through a pair of edge-of-your-seat comebacks, Marquette’s first Sweet 16 victory in a decade was as straight and smooth as the 15-foot step-back jumper that Vander Blue nailed at the end of the first half.
It helped that the Golden Eagles ran into an out-of-sorts Miami team that, in an echo of its bus ride to the Verizon Center, was able to make as much headway as a frustrated commuter in rush-hour traffic.
Marquette is in the Elite Eight for the first time since 2003, getting there with an emphatic 71-61 win over Miami on Thursday night in Washington. The Golden Eagles were never threatened after taking a double-digit lead in the first half, quite the contrast from their rallies that beat Davidson by one and Butler by two earlier in the NCAA tournament.
O South Regional
Kansas (31-5) vs. Michigan (28-7), 5:37 p.m., TBS
• Florida Gulf Coast (26-10) vs. Florida (28-7), 8:17 p.m., TBS
• Louisville (31-5) vs. Oregon (28-8), 5:15 p.m., Ch. 2
• Duke (29-5) vs. Michigan State (27-8), 7:45 p.m., Ch. 2