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One man's ceiling is another man's ... ceiling?

NEW YORK -- Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim made a beeline for press row and emphatically asked: "Are we in now?"

Well, duh, yeah.

How could the 'Cuse not be in the field of 65 or one of the 34 at-large teams after beating Cincinnati and top-ranked Connecticut in consecutive games? And, by the way, for what it's worth, the Orange could still win the Big East tournament after the 86-84 overtime quarterfinal victory Thursday afternoon.

So we know what the Orange won. But what did Connecticut really lose?

The Huskies may have merely lost Washington D.C. as their Sweet 16 and Elite Eight site. And, according to UConn coach Jim Calhoun, that might be the best thing for this squad that has trouble focusing.

If Villanova wins the Big East tournament, then UConn may have played its way to being the top seed in the Minneapolis or Oakland region. Villanova might even get the D.C. nod over the Huskies even if the Wildcats don't win the Big East tourney. Now to be clear, this positioning is for the regional sites since UConn is a likely lock with Villanova for two No. 1 four-team pods in Philadelphia for the first two rounds. Duke seems to be a lock for Atlanta.

Still, UConn likes getting away from the East. The Huskies came out of Phoenix for both of their Final Four, and ultimately national title runs, in 1999 and 2004.

Add to that the fact that Rudy Gay and Josh Boone are from Maryland and the distractions of playing in D.C. are likely too many to name.

"I'll be honest with you that on Sunday all I'll look at is the bracket and see if it's a good bracket," Calhoun said. "But I'd rather go West. I think New York City is not good for us. There's too much family around. I like having control and not have other people thinking about the wrong thing."

There was a lot of questionable thinking, mostly for the Huskies, in what turned out to be the game of the day.

Let's start with Connecticut not exactly showing up on time for the game -- in a figurative sense -- as the Orange jumped out to a 10-0 lead.

"We went through the motions like we're thinking we're big time," Calhoun said. "We could have been blown out of the building."

Syracuse, which decided to attack, attack and attack again inside was led by Terrence Roberts, who scored a deuce in the first matchup against the Huskies in January, but finished with 16 before fouling out. Roberts' early dominance helped Syracuse jump out to an 11-point lead at the half.

"The Knicks will come back and see some paint missing from the locker room because I took it off," said Calhoun in describing his halftime rant in the plush Knicks locker room. "But they did respond very well."

Syracuse was a machine in the first half with Gerry McNamara playing an exceptional lead guard game with 10 assists, one turnover and three points.

Still, you knew the Orange couldn't hold onto the lead for long.

So, when Connecticut caught Syracuse at 65-65, it seemed like momentum had shifted. Connecticut led 72-71 with 32 seconds left when Syracuse made one of its poor decisions. McNamara didn't touch the ball on the possession as Josh Wright went in for a running layup that he missed. UConn's Denham Brown ended up getting fouled on the rebound and made both free throws for a three-point Husky lead.

McNamara turned down court, before Brown's free throws, and mouthed, "I didn't touch the ball. Why didn't I touch the [bleeping] ball?"

After the game, McNamara was much more diplomatic and had no issue with Wright getting a good look.

That's because McNamara got another shot as the Huskies failed to deny him the ball despite Calhoun screaming to avoid the mishap. After the game, Calhoun was upset that there wasn't a switch on McNamara with someone other than Rashad Anderson guarding him. G-Mac got the ball, went up the middle, and just like Wednesday, buried a dead-on 3-pointer to tie the game with five seconds left, this time sending the game into overtime.

Still, there was an overtime to play and in that five minutes, the Orange held on, using a key steal by Eric Devendorf that seemed to seal the game before Denham Brown buried a 3-pointer to close the gap with 17.4 seconds left to 85-84. Devendorf admitted that it was a dumb decision to try and take the ball at Josh Boone (who, by the way, went a brutal 1 for 11 inside) and should have taken it out to use up some clock.

McNamara went to the line after being fouled and made 1 of 2 for a two-point lead. UConn's Marcus Williams, who has emerged as the Huskies' go-to player, found his way into the middle of the lane, but missed a mid-range jumper.

"I'd say it's one of the best, if not the best that we've ever had at Syracuse," Boeheim said of the win over the Huskies, a team that easily handled Syracuse this season. "That's over 44 years at Syracuse."

Seriously, Boeheim was jacked about this one. He waved his arms as he walked down to shake Calhoun's hands. McNamara and the rest of the players hugged each other.

McNamara said Wednesday that the shot to beat Cincinnati with five-tenths of a second left was his most cherished. Well, that was because he thought that win put the Orange into the NCAAs. The shot that tied UConn on Thursday, one which ultimately allowed them to win the game, meant more because he felt like this victory definitely got them into the Dance.

Roberts said the 'Cuse came into this game with the mentality that, as the defending champs, someone had to take this championship away from them. The 'Cuse played desperate and with a hunger that the Huskies lacked. Calhoun and Brown told the team that they better not forget about this feeling.

"It's too close to tournament time to be losing," UConn's Rudy Gay said. "It's getting too late for this. We know this feeling. We just don't want to feel this again."

Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.