NEW YORK, March 10 (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 Louisville, which dispatched No. 23 Notre Dame 64-50.
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.
Louisville closed the first half against Notre Dame on a 16-2 run and took a 16-point lead at the break.
Gorgui Dieng had 16 points for the Cardinals (25-9), who coasted during the second half and shot 56 percent from the field.
Louisville reached the title game for the third time in four years, having won its first and only Big East crown in 2009.
Notre Dame (22-11) was led by 12 points from Eric Atkins. The Fighting Irish hit on only 2-of-16 from 3-point range.