Junior guard Darius Johnson-Odom scored a team-best 17 points and nailed a huge 3-point bucket with 27 second remaining in the game to help the No. 11-seed Marquette Golden Eagles upset No. 3 Syracuse Orange, 66-62, in a third-round NCAA Tournament contest. The Golden Eagles (22-14) advances to East Region's round of 16 to play No. 2 seed North Carolina Tar Heels, who defeated No. 7 Washington Huskies, 86-83, earlier in the day. Syracuse will end its season with a 27-8 overall record.
Johnson-Odom scored just five points in the second half, but his 3-pointer gave Marquette a 62-59 advantage. On SU's next possession, junior guard Scoop Jardine game-tying 3 missed long. Golden Eagles' guard Junior Cadougan snagged the rebound and then nailed two free throws, after immediately being fouled by Jardine, to extend Marquette's margin to 66-61 with 16 second to play. The disadvantage was too much with too little time and SU's bid for a third straight "Sweet 16" run ended.
Syracuse, which trailed 34-31 at halftime, committed 18 turnovers, including two huge ones that occurred on back-to-back possession in the final minute and a half. The first came after Marquette's Jae Crowder made a 3-pointer with 2:26 to go that tied the game at 59. On the next SU possession, sophomore forward James Southerland tried to toss inside to teammate senior forward Rick Jackson, but Marquette's Jimmy Bulter intercepted the pass.
The second happened after Marquette's Cadougan was whistled with a travel on the Golden Eagles next possession. With a chance to reclaim the lead, SU freshman Dion Waiters, who was positioned just inside the midcourt line after a timeout, misfired a pass to Jardine, who was called for a over-and-back violation.
The loss spoiled a career day from Waiters, who finished with a team and collegiate-best 18 points. Jackson ended with seven points, four rebounds and three steals in his Orange finale. Joseph tallied 12 points and nine points. Jardine had just six points on 2-of-8 shooting.
Sophomore guard Brandon Triche, who netted eight of SU's first 10 points in the first half, finished with just eight points after leaving the game with 15:36 to go with a bruised tailbone. Triche never returned.
Marquette's Crowder tallied 16 points, which included making 7-of-8 from the free throw line, and collected seven rebounds. Bulter finished with 10 points, five rebounds, three steals and three assists.
The Golden Eagles did an outstanding job of attacking SU's 2-3 zone defense. Marquette forced Syracuse to commit 23 personal fouls, which led to the Golden Eagles shooting 19-of-23 (82.3 percent) from the free throw line. The Orange made just 5-of-7 from the charity stripe.
The Syracuse basketball program will now wait for the final releasing of the AP poll and USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll to see if its finishes the season ranked in the top 25.