Last-second shot downs Cincy

NEW YORK—One of the knocks on Gerry McNamara has been that he cannot carry a team. Syracuse has a record of 100-31 during the senior guards' time with the Orange, but there was always someone else — first Carmelo Anthony and then Hakim Warrick — helping to shoulder the yolk.

In the first game of the Big East tournament, McNamara's clutch play down the stretch went a long way to dispel the criticism.

McNamara received the inbounds at half court with 6.3 seconds to play in the game, dribbled toward the arc with Cincinnati's Jihad Muhammad on his hip, squeezed through a screen and hit a game-winning, three-point runner with 0.5 seconds to play.

The basket lifted ninth-seeded Syracuse to a 74-73 victory over eighth-seeded Cincinnati, set up a show down with No. 1 Connecticut today at 11 a.m. CST and moved the Orange one step closer to an at-large berth in the NCAA tournament.

"Under the circumstances, this is the most important shot that I've hit," said McNamara, who finished with 17 points and nine assists. "In the situation we're in, we're fighting and trying to battle for every game, we needed this one."

It was far from a one-man show for Syracuse, though. The Orange's four other starters also scored in double figures.

James White led Cincinnati with 32 points, but he was one of only two Bearcats to score more than 10 points.

Bowman leads Hoyas over ND

When Marquette played Georgetown on Feb. 16 at the Bradley Center, the Golden Eagles were more than happy to let the Hoyas settle for three-pointers.

That's because Georgetown possesses one of the best frontcourts in the country in Brandon Bowman, Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert. Plus, Georgetown was only 5-of-21 from three-point range in that game. But Marquette might need to revise their defensive game plan for the rematch.

The fifth-seeded Hoyas made 5-of-10 three-pointers in the second half and nine in the game to win their first round Big East men's basketball championship game against Notre Dame 67-64. Georgetown advances to the second round where they will play fourth-seeded Marquette at 1 p.m., CST today.

"They also hit two bombs at the end of shot clocks," said Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey. "We were in man one possession, we were in zone one. I think I can live with those. I mean they hit big shots."

Teams have been hitting big shots against the 12th-seeded Fighting Irish all year. This marked the ninth time this season Notre Dame has lost by four points or fewer.

This time Georgetown's Brandon Bowman had a large hand in Notre Dame's undoing.

He scored 25 points, a season high for the senior forward, grabbed seven rebounds and handed out four assists.

Notre Dame was led by senior Collin Falls. The junior guard scored 21 points and was 6-of-11 from behind the three-point arc.

Rutgers knocks off Pirates

With less than two minutes to play in the third Big East tournament game of the day, Seton Hall's Donald Copeland stole the ball and glided in for an easy layup.

On Rutgers' ensuing inbounds pass there was a scramble, and several Pirates dove after the loose ball. Seton Hall ended up forcing a jump ball and gaining possession because the arrow was pointing their way.

If the Pirates had shown that same kind of effort for the entire game, the group hustle down the stretch might have meant something. Instead the effort was in vain. Rutgers outplayed the seventh-seeded Pirates and won 61-48.

As usual, Quincy Douby was the leading scorer for the 10th-seeded Scarlet Knights with 18 points, but he also registered a team-high seven assists.

"The thing you've seen from Douby is he can do more than just shoot the basketball," said Rutgers head coach Gary Waters. "The thing he did, when they doubled him, he found the open guys. I thought that was the key to the game."

Pitt hangs on against Louisville

There's cold, there's can't throw the ball in the ocean, and then there was Louisville's showing in the first half.

The Cardinals shot just 20.8 percent from the floor in the first half and trailed by as much as 33-5 with 4:35 left in the opening period. This dismal performance was exacerbated by Pittsburgh's proficiency on offense and the Panthers' utter dominance of the paint.

In the first half the sixth-seeded Panthers shot 50.0 percent from the floor, blocked four Cardinals' shots and had a 27-8 rebounding advantage.

"In the first half we played very well, we defended very well, which got our offense going, " said Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon.

The offense built a lead that was just big enough for the Panthers to hold on and defeat 11th-seeded Louisville 61-56.

Pittsburgh was led by Carl Krauser and Aaron Gray. Krauser scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds while his teammate added 14 points and 13 rebounds.