Richard Solomon had 22 points and Tyrone Wallace 12 for Cal. Crabbe was held to single digits for just the fourth time all season and Cobbs, who missed all five of his 3-point shots, contributed five points.
"I told my players before the game: The fans aren't going to score any point," Boeheim said. "We played in tough places all year. We won in some tough places.
"I thought our team really dug down deep in a tough, tough environment and won the game."
Syracuse used board dominance to lead by as many as 12 points in the first half en route to a 32-24 advantage at the break.
Six of the Orange's 12 first-half baskets were the result of follow shots as Syracuse outrebounded Cal 10-8 on the offensive glass and 19-12 overall. The final rebounding differential was just 37-34, with Cal's Solomon leading all rebounders with 14.
NOTES: The win was the 50th in NCAA Tournament play by Syracuse's Boeheim, moving him into fourth place on the career list. ... Boeheim (918) and Cal's Montgomery (656) rank second and ninth, respectively, in wins among NCAA coaches. ... Triche equalled Stephen Thompson's Syracuse record by appearing in his 144th game. Triche has started all 144 of those games. ... Cal shot just 19 percent (4 of 21) from beyond the 3-point arc. ... Cal and Syracuse had met just once previously in their long histories, in 2009, with the Orange prevailing 95-73.