Louisville bounces top-seeded Michigan State
In a battle of two of the nation’s best defensive teams, fourth-seeded Louisville clamped down a little more tightly, shutting down top-seeded Michigan State 57-44 on Thursday to advance to the West Regional final in Phoenix.The Cardinals (29-9) will battle either No. 3 seed Marquette or No. 7 Florida on Saturday.Michigan State (29-8) cut a 10-point deficit to four, 35-31, on a putback dunk by Draymond Green with 10:59 remaining, but Louisville responded with a 13-2 run to take its largest lead of the game, a 13-point cushion at the 6:12 mark. The Spartans, who shot just 28 percent on the night, never got any closer than seven the rest of the way, and the Cardinals erased any doubt with a late 8-0 run that stretched the gap to 15.Louisville held Michigan State to a season-low 18 points in the first half on 27 percent (6 for 22) shooting — and though the Cardinals made just 1 of 11 two-point shots in the opening period, it was able to take a five-point edge into the locker room thanks to a 7-for-15 effort from 3-point range. The Spartans came in allowing foes to hit just 29.6 percent from beyond the arc.Chane Behanan paced Louisville with 15 points and nine rebounds. Brandon Wood scored 14 points for Michigan State, while Green finished his final collegiate game with 13 points and 16 rebounds.