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Syracuse outlasts California to advance to Sweet 16

Mar 24, 2013, 12:29 AM EST

Michael Carter-Williams AP

Despite turning the ball over 15 times and shooting 26-of-41 from the free throw line in its Round of 32 matchup with California Saturday night, No. 4 Syracuse has advanced to the Sweet 16 with a 66-60 win at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.

C.J. Fair led Syracuse with 18 points on 6-of-14 shooting from the floor. Three other players joined him in double figures, including James Southerland, Baye Keita, and Michael Carter-Williams. The Orange survived a 12-minute scoring drought in the second half to get the victory.

Syracuse’s main responsibility defensively Saturday was to contain the Pac-12′s leading scorer, Allen Crabbe, and force Cal’s offense to find production elsewhere. Partly due to a lack of aggressiveness from Crabbe and party due to the way Syracuse was playing defense on him, Crabbe finished with eight points on 3-of-9 shooting and turned the ball over five times.

That forced freshman Tyrone Wallace to take nearly double the number of shots he had been averaging throughout the season, not helped by cold shooting from guard Justin Cobbs either.

Syracuse now moves on to play the winner of Indiana-Temple, which tips off Sunday at 2:45 p.m. ET. Temple already beat Syracuse earlier this season when the two teams met at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 22. If Indiana were to advance, they would likely have the three-point shooters capable of breaking Syracuse’s zone defense. Syracuse would need to be physical inside against Indiana forward Cody Zeller and work to make the Hoosiers take contested shots to counter.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_