The Golden Eagles scored the first basket of the game on a 3-pointer by Blue but spent the early part of the first half somewhat confused on how to penetrate Syracuse's vaunted 2-3 zone.

Marquette missed 13 of its first 15 shots, had eight turnovers in the first half and made only one of its nine 3-point shots.

Marquette beat Syracuse, 74-71, at home on Feb. 25 when Gardner, of Suffolk, Va., scored 26 points. He made all seven shots from the field and was 12-of-13 from the line.

The East Region final matched two teams from the Big East.

"I think the Big East is one of the toughest leagues," Triche said. "Obviously, one of the reasons why I chose the Big East because you're going to play against strong competition. It's going to be a battle each and every game."

Marquette beat Syracuse, 66-62, in the third round of the 2011 NCAA tournament.

NOTES: Among those in the stands Saturday was President Barack Obama, who picked Indiana to win the NCAA title. Syracuse eliminated the Hoosiers here on Thursday night. ... Both teams played at the Verizon Center during regular-season play against host Georgetown, a fellow member of the Big East Conference. Syracuse lost, 61-39, on March 9, while Marquette lost, 63-55, on Feb. 11 against the Hoyas. ... The last time Syracuse advanced to the Final Four was in 2003, when the Orange won the title with freshman Carmelo Anthony and Gerry McNamara, now an Orange assistant. Syracuse entered this season with four Final Four appearances. ... The last trip for Marquette to the Final Four was in 2003. ... Syracuse junior forward C.J. Fair is from Baltimore and Jerami Grant played at nearby DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville, Md., and is the son of former Washington NBA player Harvey Grant.