Syracuse and California are back to playing good basketball at the right time. The Orange dismantled Montana, 81-34, in second round action on Thursday, rebounding from a loss in the Big East Tournament to Louisville. Prior to that loss, Syracuse reeled off four out of five, including wins over Georgetown and Pittsburgh.
The Golden Bears knocked off No. 5 UNLV prior to Syracuse's win, bouncing back from consecutive losses in Pac-12 play to Stanford and Utah. Cal had its own stretch of great basketball going before that, notching seven straight victories, including wins over fellow tournament teams UCLA, Arizona, Oregon and Colorado, to solidify its spot in the Big Dance.
Brandon Triche scored 20 points in just 29 minutes to lead Syracuse in the second round. Michael Carter-Williams only scored four points, but contributed to the Orange's big win with eight rebounds and nine assists.
Pac-12 player of the year Allen Crabbe scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds for California on Thursday, while Justin Cobbs, who has been a formidable sidekick to Crabbe throughout the season, added 13 points, five rebounds and six assists.
Game time, TV: 9:40 p.m. ET, TBS/March Madness Live
Location: HP Pavilion, San Jose, Calif.