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(1) Louisville vs. (9) Wichita State
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On April 1, 2013 @ 2:00 am In NCAA | No Comments
(1) Louisville Cardinals
In an emotional roller coaster of a game in which the Cardinals saw sophomore guard Kevin Ware go down with one of the most gruesome injuries ever to occur in live sports, the Duke Blue Devils were still no match. The Cardinals went on a big second half run behind their guard play of Russ Smith and Peyton Siva to eliminate the Blue Devils 85-63. Siva finished with 16 points, two rebounds and four assists while Smith had 23 points, two rebounds and two steals. They also blanketed Seth Curry on the opposite end, limiting him to just 12 points on 3-9 shooting from the field. Curry had difficulty just getting a shot off, let alone making it. As a team Duke shot just 36 percent from the field and 25 percent from distance. The Cardinals outrebounded them by nine. That is an area that will be important in the Final Four against Wichita State. If the Cardinals, who are in the Final Four for the second consecutive season, can contest every Shockers jump shot and get to the free throw line at least 25 times (they made 36 trips against Duke), they should win.
(9) Wichita State Shockers
After a dominating and hot shooting first half of play, the Shockers found themselves on their heels with time winding down. The Buckeyes hung around and made a run like you know they would, but ultimately the Shockers were able to hold them off and advance to Atlanta 70-66. The Shockers were once again able to hurt their opposition with the long ball, making eight triples on the night. Overall it was another balanced attack offensively, with four Shockers scoring in double figures. Malcolm Armstead had a team high 14, but it was not his best shooting performance (6-21 FG). The Shockers really defended, allowing just 19 Buckeyes makes on 61 attempts. The battle of the boards was a dead even 34. They know that they can play with any team in the country based on who they’ve beaten to get this far, but the Shockers have a tall task on their hands with Cardinals, the tournament favorite, in the Final Four. To pull off their biggest upset yet they have to be hot on offense, stay out of foul trouble and take care of the basketball.
HOOPSWORLD’s pick: Louisville. The Cardinals were the top overall seed coming into the tournament and with a championship two wins away they’ve given us no reason not to choose them.
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