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Syracuse holds off Cal to advance to Sweet 16

The difference in travel between Syracuse and California to San Jose: approximately 2,850 miles.

The Orange, though, don't seem to care how far they have to travel the way they've been playing lately.

C.J. Fair netted 18 points in the Orange's 66-60 win over the Golden Bears in the third round of the NCAA Tournament in front of a partisan Cal crowd at HP Pavilion.

It was a struggle at times for the Orange offensively. They endured a 12-plus minute second half field-goal drought and made just 39.1 percent (18- of-46) of their shots. Syracuse, though, attempted 22 more free throws than Cal and sunk 26-of-41 from the charity stripe.

"It was not pretty," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "Honestly, I don't think I can describe it. It was about as ugly as I think it can get."

James Southerland tallied 14 points and nine rebounds, while Michael Carter- Williams added 12 points for fourth-seeded Syracuse (28-9), which advanced to its 17th Sweet 16 appearance under Boeheim.

It's Boeheim's 50th NCAA Tournament win as well, and he led the Orange to their fourth Sweet 16 appearance in the last five seasons.

Syracuse will play the winner of Sunday's Indiana/Temple game in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.

The Orange dropped four of their last five regular season games before defeating Seton Hall, Pittsburgh and Georgetown en route to a championship game appearance in the Big East Tournament. Syracuse, though, blew a 16-point second-half lead against Louisville in the title game.

Richard Solomon finished with 22 points and 14 boards for the 12th-seeded Golden Bears (21-12), who upset fifth-seeded UNLV in the second round on Thursday. It was just a 50-mile trek for Cal from Berkeley to San Jose.

Syracuse frustrated Pac-12 Player of the Year Allen Crabbe with its vaunted zone defense, limiting him to just eight points on 3-of-9 shooting.

"The zone accomplished what it wanted to," Cal head coach Mike Montgomery said. "I was fearful that was going to happen. I knew where the strengths of the zone and what the weaknesses were. I wasn't sure we had the personnel in a day to get done what we needed to get done."

The Orange built a 32-24 lead at the break and went 5:37 without even taking a shot during the early stages of the second half, as Cal committed seven shooting fouls. Syracuse nailed eight of those 14 foul shots to build a 42-30 advantage.

Syracuse went 12:13 without hitting a shot before Carter-Williams nailed a jumper with 7:20 left to make it 47-35.

Later, back-to-back 3-pointers by Crabbe and Tyrone Wallace pulled the Golden Bears within 58-51 with 1:53 to play, and Cal got the ball right back when they stole the ensuing inbounds pass.

But Crabbe stepped on the sideline to give Syracuse the ball right back and the Orange went 6-of-8 from the charity stripe to seal up the victory.

Like its victory over Montana in Thursday's second round, where Syracuse stormed out of the gate and jumped out to a 30-11 cushion, the Orange raced out to an early 11-2 spread. Fair scored six points during the surge, including a triple to cap it.

Game Notes

Crabbe took just two shots in the opening 20 minutes ... The Orange tallied 10 offensive rebounds and 12 second-chance points in the first half ... Cal was 12-of-19 from the foul line.