The no. 1 overall seeded Louisville Cardinals (33-5) came into this game at the Georgia Dome with a purpose. They came so close last year only to be shut down by instate rival Kentucky in the Final Four. Everyone is predicting the Cards to win it all this year. Everyone except Wichita State. They had plans of their own. The no. 9 seeded Shockers (30-8) wanted to do just what their nick name said. Shock Louisville. They hadn’t been to the final four since 1965, but this is a good team, a team that is tough, rebounds and shoots three’s better than just about anybody. If you doubt them just ask Pittsburg, Gonzaga or Ohio State. In the first half both of teams seemed to be a little nervous and not executing the way they wanted to. Poor shooting and turnovers kept the game close. If it hadn’t been for Russ Smith’s 11 points Louisville would have found themselves deeper in a hole; as it was, Wichita State would go into the half with a 1 point lead.
In the second half, Wichita State’s lead swelled to as much as 12 points with good play by guys like Cleanthony Early and Ron Baker. Midway through the second half Louisville finally started putting it together with the continued good play of Russ Smith and a big spark by Luke Hancock. With 2 minutes left in regulation Hancock hit a 3 pointer to give Louisville their biggest lead of 5 points. The Cards would hold on to win, 72-68. Russ Smith Led Louisville with 21 points and Luke Hancock added 20 points.
Louisville will move on to the championship game Monday night to meet the winner of the Syracuse/Michigan State game.
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