With an opportunity to gain one of the nation's 16 coveted spots in the NCAA Tournament on the line, the Syracuse Orange got started early on the California Golden Bears, getting out to an 11-2 lead to begin the game.
But the Golden Bears fought back, getting as close as two points shy of tying the Orange at 11-9 off of a dunk by senior forward Robert Thurman with 10:40 to play.
Syracuse led by as many as 12 on three separate occasions, holding an eight-point advantage at the break, 32-24.
Junior forward C.J. Fair led all Orange with 14 points after the opening half.
The Orange struggled to score from the field in the second half. After a dunk by senior forward James Southerland at 19:29, Syracuse went on a drought of more than seven minutes until sophomore guard Michael Carter-Williams connected on a jumper at 7:20.
Despite the drought, the Orange defense aided the offense in keeping their lead.
Within the dry spell, Syracuse obtained points at the free throw line, making 11 of their attempts, but failed to expand their lead, missing seven.
Late scoring, failed attempts to get the ball in bounds, and misses at the charity stripe were not enough to keep the Orange down.
After going down 2-0 at the 18:32 mark to begin the game, Syracuse would gain the lead at 18:08 and hold on for the remainder of the match, winning 66-60 to move onto the Sweet 16.