Scoop Jardine added 16 points for the Orange (11-0), including a pair of 3-pointers during an 11-2 spurt that finally gave them some cushion after the Wolfpack fought back from a 17-point deficit late in the first half.
Waiters also came up big during that run, starting it by knocking down his own 3-pointer to answer one by Scott Wood that pulled N.C. State (6-4) to within 63-61.
Waiters also jumped a pass and raced in for a dunk, then Jardine closed the spurt with another 3 to push the lead to 74-63 with 6:41 left.
It was a good road test for Syracuse, which was playing for the first time this season as the nation’s No. 1 team – as well as its first game outside its home state.
NO. 3 KENTUCKY 87, TENNESSEE-CHATTANOOGA 62
In Lexington, Ky., Doron Lamb scored 24 points and Kentucky bounced back from its first loss of the season, beating Tennessee-Chattanooga despite an injury to forward Terrence Jones.
Voted preseason All-America, Jones spent much of the game on the bench after hurting a finger on his left hand early in the first half. He checked back in but played only 10 minutes. He finished with no points and one rebound.
NO. 4 LOUISVILLE 95, MEMPHIS 87
In Louisville, Ky., Russ Smith set personal bests with 24 points and seven steals as Louisville extended its home winning streak to 18 games.
NO. 5 NORTH CAROLINA 97, APPALACHIAN STATE 82
In Chapel Hill, N.C., Tyler Zeller had 31 points and 10 rebounds, and John Henson added 17 points to lead North Carolina.
NO. 6 BAYLOR 86, BYU 83
In Provo, Utah, Perry Jones III scored 28 points and Brady Heslip hit six 3-pointers.
Brandon Davies had a chance to force overtime but his 3-point attempt at the buzzer was blocked by Pierre Jackson.
NO. 11 MARQUETTE 93, NORTHERN COLORADO 72
In Milwaukee, freshman Todd Mayo replaced suspended star Darius Johnson-Odom in the starting lineup and scored 22 points to lead Marquette over Northern Colorado.
NO. 13 FLORIDA 84, NO. 22 TEXAS A&M 64
In Sunrise, Fla., Kenny Boynton sank six 3-pointers and Florida built an early 16-point lead.
Boynton scored 22 points and was voted the game’s most valuable player at the Orange Bowl Classic.
NO. 15 PITTSBURGH 69, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE 55
In Pittsburgh, Lamar Patterson tied a career-high with 16 points and Pittsburgh pulled away in the second half for a win over South Carolina State.
Ashton Gibbs added 14 points and a team-high six assists for the Panthers.
Brandon Riley led the Bulldogs with 21 points.
NO. 16 GEORGETOWN 81, AMERICAN 55
In Washington, Georgetown center Henry Sims took over the game early in the second half, finishing with 17 points and six assists.
Sims assisted on back-door baskets on four consecutive possessions in the opening minutes after halftime as Georgetown (9-1) broke open a tight game en route to its seventh victory in a row.
NO. 17 MISSISSIPPI STATE 80, DETROIT 75
In Detroit, Rodney Hood’s jump shot with 17.7 seconds left gave the Bulldogs their 10th consecutive victory.
NO. 18 INDIANA 69, NOTRE DAME 58
In Indianapolis, Cody Zeller scored 21 points and had eight rebounds to help Indiana beat rival Notre Dame in the Crossroads Classic.
UNLV 64, NO. 19 ILLINOIS 48
In Chicago, Mike Moser had 17 points and 11 rebounds, UNLV went on a 14-2 run to close the first half and the Runnin’ Rebels handed Illinois its first loss of the season.
NO. 20 MICHIGAN 87, ALABAMA A&M 57
In Ann Arbor, Mich., Evan Smotrycz had 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Trey Burke led the Wolverines with 19 points.
NO. 21 MICHIGAN STATE 74, BOWLING GREEN 60
In East Lansing, Mich., Brandon Wood scored 16 points and Michigan State overcame a sluggish first half to beat Bowling Greent.
Derrick Nix added a career-high 14 points to go with seven rebounds and Branden Dawson had 13 points for the Spartans (9-2), who have won nine in a row.
NO. 24 MURRAY STATE 66, ARKANSAS STATE 53
In Murray, Ky., Isaiah Canaan hit six 3-pointers and scored 21 points to lead Murray State to a win over Arkansas State.
INDIANA STATE 61, NO. 25 VANDERBILT 55
In Nashville, Tenn., Steve McWhorter hit two free throws with 3:32 left to put Indiana State ahead for good and the Sycamores upset Vanderbilt for its first win over a ranked team since 2006.
NO. 25 CREIGHTON 97, HOUSTON BAPTIST 62
In Omaha, Neb., Doug McDermott scored 25 points, Gregory Echenique had 18 points and 14 rebounds, and Creighton overpowered Houston Baptist.