MARCH 10 2012 04:05h

Cincinnati downs No. 2 Syracuse in semis

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NEW YORK, March 9 (UPI) -- Sean Kilpatrick made six 3-pointers in boosting Cincinnati to a big lead Friday and the Bearcats held on to stun No. 2 Syracuse in the Big East semifinals.

Cincinnati defeated a ranked opponent for the second time in as many nights, having posted a double-overtime win over No. 14 Georgetown in Thursday's quarterfinals. The Bearcats will play for the tournament title Saturday against either Louisville or Notre Dame.

Kilpatrick and Yancy Gates both had 18 points for Cincinnati (24-9), which opened a 17-point advantage in the first half. The Orange, who had won 11 in a row since their only other loss of the season, then rallied to make it a dramatic conclusion.

Syracuse (31-2) closed within two when Dion Waiters made a 3-pointer with 17.1 seconds to play.

Cincinnati's Jaquon Parker was then fouled but could make only 1-of-2 from the line. That gave the Orange a chance to tie it with a long-range shot but Cashmere Wright fouled Waiters before he could get off a 3-point attempt.

Waiters made both his free throws but Syracuse allowed Justin Jackson to break loose on the other end for a dunk that clinched the victory with a second to play. Waiters scored 28 points while making 7-of-10 from beyond the arc.

Cincinnati will make its first appearance in the Big East championship game.