The offense got sloppy as well as the defense, but to a lesser degree. They settled down towards the end of the half as they went to the locker room with a 35-32 lead on a 10-4 run. Rick Pitino’s halftime speech to the team would decide how the rest of the game got played.
As the second half opened Seth Curry got himself into the game for Duke with quick threes, but the Cards came back as a unit just as Kevin Ware asked them to do from the floor during his injury treatment.
So Louisville kept coming. Peyton Siva took over the game with points and assists everywhere while Smith maintained the Russdiculous play that has been his hallmark through the entire tournament.
With Ware out, Tim Henderson was called upon to jump into the guard rotation and play more minutes. Not seen as a scoring threat, his knowledge of the Cardinal defense made him a valuable sub. He even nailed a triple near the end of the game.
As the game wore on, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s face became more and more a mask of concern, even though the whistles came coming in his team’s favor. The determined Louisville squad just kept coming. Smith finished with 23 points and Siva tallied 16. Dieng fouled out but made his presence known with double-double: 14 points and 11 rebounds.
And they’ll be coming to Atlanta for the Final Four and possibly a national championship.
Photo: Louisville.com/Tim Girton
|Luke Hancock becomes a star on the big stage as Louisville basketball holds off Wichita State 72-68|
|Louisville basketball goes Elite by beating Oregon 77-69|
|Louisville basketball continues their tear, rolls Cincinnati 67-51|
|Louisville basketball sends Dieng, Siva out with a bang with a whipping on Notre Dame 73-57|
|The 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Champions are the Louisville Cardinals, defeating Michigan 82-76|
|Harrell a hero as he leads Louisville basketball to repeat as Big East champions 78-61 over Syracuse|
|Right back at you as Louisville basketball takes one from Syracuse 58-53|