NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Carl Krauser helped Pittsburgh continue what has become an annual rite in the Big East Conference tournament.
Krauser scored 18 points as the sixth-ranked Panthers moved into the championship game for the fourth straight season with a 62-53 victory over Boston College.
Pittsburgh (29-3) eliminated Boston College from the Big East tournament for the third year in a row and can earn its second consecutive title Saturday against Connecticut or Villanova. The Panthers and Huskies have met for each of the last two championships.
"It's quite a accomplishment, obviously," Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon said. "All we've been thinking about is getting the one game, winning one, then winning the next one. Now we're going to start preparing for the next."
The Panthers first had to dispatch the Eagles in a matchup of two of the country's most physical teams. Boston College (23-9) hung tough throughout behind 20 points from star forward Craig Smith.
The Eagles pulled within 52-50 on freshman Steve Hailey's layup with 2:40 remaining. Krauser patiently took time off the clock before working his way into the lane for a runner with 1:46 to go.
"I wanted to make a big shot," Krauser said. "I know we needed a bucket and I just wanted to come down and make that shot."
After Smith missed a short hook, Krauser missed a long 3-pointer as the shot clock wound down. But he was fouled by Hailey and drained all three free throws for a seven-point lead with 50 seconds left.
Smith made 7-of-12 shots and all six free throws as the lone Eagle in double figures. But the muscular forward was scoreless over the final 7:17 as BC had a seven-game winning streak snapped.
"In our minds, we knew it was going to be a physical game, a lot of banging inside," Dixon said. "Our guys, we did a good defensive job from a number of our big guys on trying to contain Smith and (Uka) Agbai."
Jaron Brown scored 11 points and freshman Chris Taft added 10 for Pitt, which came alive to shoot 54 percent (15-of-28) in the second half after managing seven baskets before intermission.
"We didn't maintain our concentration defensively as well as we should have," Eagles coach Al Skinner said. "What we wanted to do and what we actually did didn't occur this evening."
Pitt won with defense, limiting Boston College to 36 percent (19-of-53) shooting. The suffocating effort was particularly effective at the point of attack as the Eagles managed just two assists.
Despite the loss, BC appears in excellent shape for an NCAA Tournament at-large berth after being snubbed last season. The Eagles succeeded, despite replacing Big East Player of the Year Troy Bell, as well as starters Ryan Sidney and Andrew Bryant - both of whom left the team.
"I don't know if we're going to find anyone that defensively is tougher than this," Skinner said. "And if we can learn from this and handle this situation and grow on it, it's going to help us in the tournament, I believe."