Saturday, April 6, 2013
Louisville beats Wichita State 72-68
Luke Hancock off the bench scored 20 points that sparked a second-half rally as Louisville advanced to the NCAA title game Saturday night. They scaped a 72-68 victory over Wichita State.
Russ Smith led the Cardinals with 21 points, and Chane Behanan added 10.
Cleanthony Early had 24 for the ninth-seeded Shockers (30-9), who nearly pulled off their biggest upset of all. Wichita State had knocked off No. 1 seed Gonzaga and Ohio State on its way to its first Final Four since 1965, and it had a 12-point lead on the Cardinals with 13:35 to play. It was the largest deficit all tournament for the Cardinals, who seemed out of sorts with Ware on the bench, his broken right leg propped up on a chair.
But Louisville had come back to win five games after trailing by nine points or more already this year, including rallying from a 16-point deficit in the title game at the Big East tournament.
The Cardinals modified their warm-up T-shirts in honor of their fallen player Ware ''Ri5e to the Occasion,'' with Ware's No. 5 on the back and every one of the starters went to shake his hand after being introduced.