Commentary

Instant Analysis: Siena-Louisville

Originally Published: March 22, 2009
By Brian Bennett | ESPN.com

DAYTON, Ohio -- ESPN.com's Brian Bennett provides instant analysis from Louisville's 79-72 win over Siena in Sunday's Midwest Region second round:

GAME ANALYSIS: Anyone who thought Siena was a Cinderella saw otherwise Sunday. The Saints are a veteran team with a pair of NCAA tournament wins under their belts, and they came to the second round ready to attack the No. 1 seed. A stirring 12-0 run midway through the second half put the Saints up 63-59 with under eight minutes left, prompting three timeouts by Rick Pitino. In the end, though, Louisville had a little too much size, athleticism and sheer desire to avoid becoming the first No. 1 seed to exit this tournament.

HOW THE GAME WAS WON: After Siena took that four-point lead, the Cardinals crashed the backboard relentlessly, limiting the Saints to one shot per possession and giving themselves multiple opportunities on the other end. Terrence Williams played like a senior who wasn't ready to quit playing, hitting a key 3-pointer, scoring on an offensive rebound and driving hard to the goal for a basket during a decisive 9-0 run by his team.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Williams simply took over when his team needed it most and finished with 24 points, 15 rebounds and four assists. He sealed the game with a minute left, grabbing a rebound and throwing a 50-foot outlet pass to a wide-open Earl Clark for a dunk.

PLAYER OF THE GAME II: On a night when Kenny Hasbrouck again struggled with his shot (4-of-17 from the field) and Ryan Rossiter got overpowered inside, Edwin Ubiles and came through with 24 points and eight rebounds.

STAT OF THE GAME: Louisville outrebounded Siena 47-32, and that led to 22 second-chance points for the Cardinals to just 13 for the Saints.

STAT OF THE GAME II: Siena committed just five turnovers in the first 33 minutes against Louisville's vaunted pressure defense. The Saints coughed it up four times in the last seven minutes.

OMEN?: During a timeout early in the second half, a bird swooped down and did a couple of passes over the court as the crowd cheered and laughed. It was not a cardinal. Louisville led 52-40 at that point, and a few minutes later, Siena was ahead by four.

MAN OF THE MOMENT: Clarence Jackson, who played only 10 minutes Friday against Ohio State and was scoreless in Sunday's first half, had seven points during Siena's 12-0 run.

HERO FOR A DAY: Ronald Moore hit two huge 3-pointers in Friday's double-overtime win over Ohio State, including the game-winner. But Moore was just 1-for-10 from the field Sunday for three points, though he did have 10 assists.

NEXT FOR THE CARDINALS: Louisville will face 12th-seeded Arizona in Indianapolis in a Midwest Region semifinal game.

Brian Bennett covers college basketball and football for ESPN.com.