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Big East Semifinals: West Virginia-Syracuse

(6) Syracuse 74 (7) West Virginia 69:  After six overtimes to even reach the semifinal, Syracuse needed to survive a mere one if they wanted to play another day at Madison Square Garden.  Although the overtime meant 115 minutes of basketball in just 24 hours, Syracuse somehow was able to find enough energy to outlast West Virginia and secure a birth in the Big East Championship.

Syracuse led for most of the first half, but it appeared as though they were low on stamina when West Virginia stormed back and took the lead from them in the second half.  However, it was clear that there was still a little left in the Orange’s tank as they were able to hang with West Virginia and eventually reclaim the lead.

At the end of regulation, West Virginia had a chance to tie the game with two free throws by Devin Ebanks.  Despite a Syracuse time out to ice him, Ebanks calmly sank both to send the game to overtime.

In the overtime session, Syracuse scored the first basket and never looked back.  There was no need for any extra overtimes this time around, and the Orange put away the Mountaineers by three.

The win means that Syracuse will take on Louisville in the Big East Championship tomorrow night.  In their only other meeting this season, Louisville beat Syracuse 67-57 at the Carrier Dome.  Syracuse will be attempting to win their second Big East title in four years, while Louisville will be looking for its first since joining the Big East in 2006.

-David Cassilo

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