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Syracuse faces No. 16 Notre Dame in Big East quarterfinals

Mar 8, 2007 - 3:57 PM Syracuse (22-9) vs. No. 16 Notre Dame (23-6) 2:00 pm EST

NEW YORK (Ticker) - Syracuse has shown a knack of lifting its level of play in the month of March.

Coming off an opening-round victory over Connecticut in the Big East Conference Tournament, the Orange face Notre Dame in Thursday's quarterfinal meeting.

The 2003 NCAA champion, Syracuse has won the last two Big East tournament titles. After defeating West Virginia for the 2005 crown, the Orange became the first team to capture the championship by winning four games in four days last year.

Syracuse won its eighth consecutive tournament contest with Wednesday's 78-65 triumph over the Huskies. Demetris Nichols scored 28 points and Eric Devendorf added 19 for the Orange, who limited Connecticut to just 26 percent (10-of-39) shooting in the second half.

Jim Boeheim, the winningest coach in Big East history (333), recorded his 748th career victory, leaving him two behind Connecticut's Jim Calhoun for 12th place in Division I history.

Notre Dame coach Mike Brey was named the Big East Coach of the Year after leading his team to its winningest campaign since 1985-1986 and a No. 4 seed in the tournament.

Making their 12th consecutive tournament appearance, the Fighting Irish won their last five contests, including Saturday's 73-66 victory over Rutgers. Colin Falls scored 22 points and Russell Carter added 17.

Notre Dame set a Carrier Dome record for most points scored by an opponent in a 103-91 triumph over Syracuse on January 30. The Irish went 11-of-23 from the arc in the game and had 61 points in the first half.

The winner of this contest faces either Georgetown or Villanova.