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Syracuse edges Georgetown in OT to reach BE final

NEW YORK – Brandon Triche scored the go-ahead basket early in overtime and No. 19 Syracuse advanced to the Big East championship game with a 58-55 victory over No. 5 Georgetown on Friday night in the final conference clash of their storied heavyweight rivalry.

The fifth-seeded Orange (26-8) will make their 15th appearance in the tournament title game and go for their sixth crown Saturday night at Madison Square Garden against fourth-ranked Louisville, the defending champion, or No. 24 Notre Dame.

Triche, James Southerland and backup center Baye Moussa Keita all had 13 points for Syracuse, trying to close its Big East tenure with one more championship before bolting for the ACC next season.

The Orange held top-seeded Georgetown (25-6) to 22 percent shooting from 3-point range with their trademark 2-3 zone and got a big game from their bench to avenge two previous losses to the Hoyas this season.

Georgetown erased a 12-point deficit, tying it at 49 with 1:47 left in regulation on two free throws by Jabril Trawick.

Baye Moussa Keita hit a pair of foul shots to put the Orange back on top at the 1:23 mark, but Porter drew a blocking foul on Fair and calmly canned both ends of a 1-and-1 to tie it at 51 with 7.3 seconds to go.

Michael Carter-Williams had a chance to win it for Syracuse, but he missed a shot just before the buzzer and the fiercest rivalry in Big East history was extended for another 5 minutes.

Only fitting.

Georgetown is one of seven basketball-focused Catholic schools splitting off from the conference to create their own league, which will begin play next season and keep the Big East name. Syracuse is headed to the ACC with several other schools.

There’s an interest on both sides to resume the rivalry as nonconference foes, but no deal has been completed.

Triche scored on a driving layup to start the extra session, Keita put the Orange up by four with a putback and they held on from there – thanks in part to an emphatic, soaring dunk by C.J. Fair over multiple outstretched arms.

Down by three, Georgetown got the ball with 18.4 seconds remaining. Syracuse trapped Big East Player of the Year Otto Porter Jr. near the sideline and he threw an off-balance pass into the middle of the court that was intercepted. Fair had a chance to seal it at the line, but he missed both free throws. Jabril Trawick’s heave from halfcourt banged off the backboard, and the jubilant Orange held on.

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