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Frank Franklin II, Associated Press
Cincinnati's Cashmere Wright (1) celebrates with teammates after an NCAA college basketball game against Syracuse in the semifinals of the Big East Conference tournament in New York, Friday, March 9, 2012. Cincinnati won 71-68.

NEW YORK — Sean Kilpatrick keyed Cincinnati's early 3-point barrage and scored 18 points as the Bearcats held on for a 71-68 victory over No. 2 Syracuse on Friday night in the semifinals of the Big East tournament.

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The fourth-seeded Bearcats (24-9) will meet the Louisville-Notre Dame winner in Saturday night's championship game at Madison Square Garden.

To get there, they ended the 11-game winning streak of the top-seeded Orange (31-2). They did it with an incredible shooting performance over the opening 14 minutes of the game when they took a 17-point lead, and then by holding on as Syracuse was able to get within one point in the final seconds.

This was Cincinnati's seventh win over a ranked team this season, the most in the country.

Dion Waiters had 28 points for Syracuse.