Cincinnati led by as many as 17 before Dion Waiters took over for Syracuse, pouring in a McNamara-like seven 3-pointers (28 points). Naturally, Brandon Triche and Scoop Jardine screwed up late when the Cuse pulled within three and Cincinnati survived.
The loss doesn’t significantly hurt Syracuse. The Orange will still be a No. 1 seed, but the second No. 1, behind Kentucky. The only questions: Will they face more difficult No. 2/3/4 seeds than they might have previously?
A bigger stunner than Syracuse losing was Baylor upsetting Kansas, 81-72 in the Big 12 semifinals. Baylor broke open a close game late on the strength of two Brady Heslip 3-pointers. Six Bears scored in double figures. Kansas star Thomas Robinson labored through a 6-for-17 night and Kansas was a putrid 2-of-17 from deep. Baylor had lost to Kansas twice this season by a combined 32 points.
The loss will knock Kansas off the No. 1 seed line, opening the door for Missouri or perhaps Michigan State or even Ohio State. This win will solidify Baylor as a 3-seed, but it could nab a 2-seed if they are able to knock off Missouri for the conference tourney title.