April 7, 2013

Men's Final Four: A comeback, and Louisville's one win away

The Cardinals trail by 12 with 13:55 remaining, then end Wichita State's run and reach the NCAA final.

The Associated Press

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Gorgui Dieng of Louisville knocks away a shot by Fred Van Vleet of Wichita State during Louisville’s come-from-behind 72-68 victory Saturday night in the national semifinals.

The Associated Press

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

WHO: Louisville (34-5) vs. Michigan (31-7)

WHEN: 9 p.m. Monday

TELEVISION: CBS

As the final buzzer sounded, Behanan tossed the ball high into the air, and Henderson and Hancock did a flying shoulder bump at midcourt.

"It's just a mix of emotions, of feelings. It hurts to have to lose and be the end of the season," Early said. "But these guys fought to the end, and we had a great season and keep our heads high and know the grind doesn't stop."

The Cardinals were the overall No. 1 seed in the tournament and steamrolled through their first four games, winning by an average of almost 22 points. They limited foes to 59 points and 42 percent shooting, harassing them into almost 18 turnovers a game, setting an NCAA tourney record with 20 steals against North Carolina A&T.

The presence of Ware was supposed to provide even more motivation for Louisville, which already had some unfinished business after losing to Kentucky in last year's Final Four.

He urged his teammates to "just go win the game" before being wheeled off the court on a stretcher last weekend. Three days later he joined the Cardinals as they made the trip to the Final Four in Atlanta, Ware's hometown.

 

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