6:09 PM ET, April 6, 2013
Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
Louisville edges upstart Wichita State, advances to NCAA title game
ATLANTA -- Russ Smith looked at the scoreboard, then at the clock, then over at the bench.Louisville needed a run, but he had no idea where it was going to come from. The starters were struggling, the fouls were piling up and the only lift injured Kevin Ware could give the top-seeded Cardinals was an emotional one.
More Final Four Coverage
With a Ware prayer, the Louisville Cardinals beat the Wichita State Shockers in the Final Four, writes Eamonn Brennan. Story
Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said Saturday's loss to Louisville is already fueling his team for next season and beyond, writes Andy Katz. Blog
Cardinals Finish Strong
Louisville erased a 12-point deficit and outscored Wichita State by 16 points in the final 13:00 of the game Saturday. The Cardinals were able to speed up Wichita State during this stretch, forcing five of the Shockers' seven turnovers in transition.
Of Saturday's Game
|Pts per poss||0.88||1.54|
|*- All in final 6:43|
--ESPN Stats & Information
NCAA Mens Tournament
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 06: Tim Eiehler, a Wichita State Shockers fan, poses before the Shockers take on the...(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Around Champ Week
MVP: Louisville junior Luke Hancock, averaging 6.8 points over his previous four NCAA tournament games, finished with 20 points -- including 14 in the second half, when the Cardinals rallied from a dozen-point deficit.
X factor: Wichita State finished with only 11 turnovers, but seven of them came in the final seven minutes.
That was down to the wire: The ninth-seeded Shockers led by as many as 12 points -- 47-35 -- with about 13 minutes left before Louisville used a 21-8 run to take back the lead 56-55 with 6:30 left on a Hancock 3-pointer. The teams traded the lead until the 1:58 mark, when another Hancock 3 gave the Cardinals a five-point cushion. With 8.8 seconds left and Louisville leading by two and looking to seal it from the line, Hancock made his first foul shot, missed the second but forced a jump ball on the rebound, giving his team back possession. A Russ Smith free throw with five seconds left accounted for the final margin of victory.
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||22-54 (.407)||22-49 (.449)|
|3P Made-Attempted||6-20 (.300)||9-25 (.360)|
|FT Made-Attempted||18-24 (.750)||19-29 (.655)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||20 (0/0)||23 (0/0)|
|» Apr 6, 2013||@LOU 72, WICH 68||Recap|
Wichita State outscored Louisville 30-26 in the paint Saturday. It was the seventh time this season that Louisville has been outscored in the paint and the Cardinals are 5-2 in those games. Cleanthony Early scored a game-high 24 points for the Shockers, 10 of which were in the paint.
Wichita State was 1-for-8 (12.5 percent) outside the paint in the final 10:00 Saturday and missed its last six shots from that distance. The Shockers entered the Final Four shooting nearly 50 percent outside the paint in the final 10:00 of the 2013 Men's Basketball Championship.[+]
Wichita State Outside the Paint
Louisville outscored Wichita State by 20 points with Luke Hancock on the court Saturday. Hancock scored 20 points off the bench, 14 of which were in the second half. The Cardinals were more efficient with Hancock on the court, averaging 1.34 points per possession in the 31 minutes he played.[+]
Louisville with Luke Hancock On/Off Court
Louisville had 26 deflections Saturday, its fewest in the 2013 Men's Basketball Championship. The Cardinals entered the Final Four averaging 45.0 deflections per game in the tournament. Louisville had 17 of its 26 deflections in the second half against Wichita State, and forced seven of its 11 turnovers after halftime. Overall, Peyton Siva and Russ Smith had 13 deflections Saturday and have combined for 83 deflections in the 2013 Men's Basketball Championship.
Louisville erased a 12-point deficit and outscored Wichita State by 16 points in the final 13:00 of the game Saturday. The Cardinals were able to speed up Wichita State during this stretch, forcing five of the Shockers' seven turnovers in transition. Luke Hancock and Tim Henderson combined to score 19 of Louisville's 37 points in the final 13:00.[+]
Russ Smith scored a team-high 21 points Saturday but was 6-for-17 (35.3 percent) from the field, his lowest shooting percentage in the 2013 Men's Basketball Championship. Smith was unable to thrive on easy baskets against Wichita State, scoring four paint points and four transition points, both of which were lows in the tournament.
Cleanthony Early is just the fourth player to score 20 points and grab 10 rebounds in a semifinal game against Louisville, joining some of the most legendary players in basketball history.[+]
20+ Pts, 10+ Reb - National Semifinal vs Louisville
Russ Smith becomes the first player since Shane Battier and Jason Williams in 2001 - and just the eighth since the tournament expanded in 1985 - to record at least 20 points in each of the first five tournament games for a team that played for the national title.[+]
20+ Points in 1st 5 Games of NCAA Tournament - Made National Championship Since 1985
ESPN Stats & Information