James Southerland added 15 points for the Orange (33-2), who didn't wait until the final minutes to seal the win as they did in the second round against 16th-seeded North Carolina-Asheville.
Syracuse plays Wisconsin in Boston on Thursday night in the regional semifinals.
Rodney McGruder had 15 points for the Wildcats (22-11), who struggled from the field against Syracuse's 2-3 zone defence.
Neither team had its leading rebounder. Syracuse's seven-foot Fab Melo, the Big East Defensive Player of the Year, was declared ineligible by the school for the rest of the tournament earlier in the week. About 20 minutes before the start of this game, Kansas State announced that Jamar Samuels would be held out over an eligibility issue.
No. 2 OHIO STATE 73, No. 7 GONZAGA 66
Jared Sullinger scored 18 points, including two big baskets in the final 3 minutes to lead Ohio State past Gonzaga and into the round of 16 for the third straight year.
DeShaun Thomas also scored 18 for the Buckeyes (29-7), while Aaron Craft added 17 points and 10 assists. Ohio State will play Florida State or Cincinnati in the East Regional semifinals Thursday in Boston.
Gary Bell Jr. led Gonzaga (26-7) with 18 points, but the Bulldogs were unable to become the third team to knock off a No. 2 seed in less than 24 hours.
Gonzaga erased a 10-point deficit to tie it at 61 on a three-pointer by Elias Harris with 4:05 remaining, but Sullinger knocked down two pretty hook shots late while the Bulldogs went cold.
No. 4 WISCONSIN 60, No. 5 VANDERBILT 57
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Ryan Evans scored 11 points and grabbed a crucial rebound in the closing seconds.
John Jenkins took a three-pointer that would have given the Commodores the lead, but it bounced high off the rim and Evans pulled down the rebound and was fouled with 2.1 seconds left.
He made the first free throw to make it a three-point game. After a Vanderbilt timeout, he missed the second and the Commodores called time with 1.3 seconds remaining.
Jared Berggren contested the inbounds pass and got his right hand on Lance Goulbourne's overhand heave and started celebrating Wisconsin's fifth trip to the round of 16 under coach Bo Ryan as the horn sounded.
No. 1 KENTUCKY 87, No. 8 IOWA STATE 71
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Freshman Marquis Teague scored a career-high 24 points and top-seeded Kentucky put together another complete performance with a dominating second-half run the third round of the NCAA tournament.
Freshman Anthony Davis had 15 points and 12 rebounds, senior Darius Miller added 19 points and Doron Lamb finished with 16. The Wildcats (34-2) move on to South Regional semifinals in Atlanta and will face fourth-seeded Indiana on Friday.
Royce White scored 23 points and had nine rebounds before fouling out with 4:32 left for Iowa State (23-11), which beat defending national champion Connecticut on Thursday night. But the Cyclones couldn't contend with Kentucky's overwhelming offence and smothering defence.
No. 3 BAYLOR 80, No. 11 COLORADO
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Brady Heslip of Burlington, Ont., made nine three-pointers and finished with 27 points to lead Baylor to the victory in the South Regional.
Heslip, a transfer from Boston College who grew up in Canada, helped break open a tight game with a pair of three-pointers that were part of a 14-0 run and gave the third-seeded Bears (29-7) a 75-60 lead.
Baylor made the regional finals for the second time in three years under coach Scott Drew. The Bears will play the winner of Sunday's game between Xavier and Lehigh.
Pierre Jackson had 13 points and 10 assists for Baylor.
Freshman Askia Booker had 15 points for 11th-seeded Colorado (24-12).
No. 4 INDIANA 63, No. 12 VCU 61
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Indiana's Will Sheehey made a 15-footer from the baseline with 12.7 seconds left after a shot was blocked right to him.
Rob Brandenberg got a great look at a potential winning three-pointer but it rimmed off at the buzzer, ending the Rams' bid for another surprising March run.
Indiana advanced to the round of 16 for the first time in a decade and just four years after Tom Crean inherited a decimated program. The Hoosiers did it by rallying from down 59-53 with six minutes remaining, including Victor Oladipo's driving three-point play with 46.5 seconds left that tied it at 61.
Christian Watford and Cody Zeller had 16 points apiece for Indiana (27-8). Sheehey finished with eight points; his game-winner was his only basket of the second half.
Bradford Burgess scored 12 of his 15 points in the first half for VCU (29-7).
No. 3 MARQUETTE 62, No. 6 MURRAY STATE 53
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Jae Crowder scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half, and Marquette used a late run to overcome Murray State.
Trailing 46-41 with 7:43 to play, Marquette went on a 14-2 run. While Crowder and Davante Gardner took care of the offence, scoring all but two points during the spurt, the Golden Eagles used their size and strength to wear down the pesky Racers.
Isaiah Canaan scored 16 for Murray State, (31-2) which is still looking to get out of the first weekend of the NCAA tournament. It's the second time in three years Murray State has fallen short of the regional semifinals.
Marquette (27-7) plays the winner of Norfolk State-Florida next Thursday in Phoenix.
No. 4 LOUISVILLE 59, No. 5 NEW MEXICO 56
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Russ Smith had 17 points as Louisville advanced to the regional semifinals for the first time since 2009.
Kyle Kuric added 10 points for the Big East tournament champions, who lost their first game of the NCAA tournament the past two seasons.
Trailing 53-46, New Mexico's Drew Gordon hit a pair of free throws, and Demetrius Walker made a three-pointer to pull to within 53-51 with 1:36 left. Smith made a pair of free throws for fourth-seeded Louisville (28-9), but Gordon answered with a tip-in.
Gorgui Dieng dunked with 32.3 seconds left and Peyton Siva added free throws to make it 59-53. Gordon dropped a three-pointer with 2.9 seconds left, but it was too late for the fifth seeded Lobos (28-7), who have never been to the round of 16.
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