Twenty notes on Louisville’s second straight Final Four


A few quick notes from Louisville’s win over Duke:

1. Rick Pitino said that when Kevin Ware fell to the floor right in front of the Louisville bench with 6:33 to go in the first half, “I went to help him up and I  saw his leg. I literally almost threw up.”

2. Ware apparently suffered a compound fracture of the leg and was in surgery Sunday onight at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Pitino said he and his son, Richard, would stay overnight in Indianapolis to see Ware after surgery, then would visit him again in the morning before returning to Louisville.

3. Pitino said he was told that the leg fracture is similar to the one suffered by former Louisville running back Michael Bush against Kentucky in 2006.

4. Pitino and the players said that Ware told the team 12 times, “I’ll be fine. Just go and win the game.”

5. With the game tied 42-42 at the 16:18 mark of the second half, Louisville went on a decisive 17-2 run.

6. Russ Smith scored 23 points and was named the Midwest Region’s most outstanding player after scoring 31 points in U of L’s win over Oregon on Friday.

7. Duke shot just 32.1 percent in the second half and 36.5 percent for the game.

8. Louisville averaged 1.23 points per possession. Duke averaged 0.95 points per possession.

9. Louisville shot 52.7 percent, which means the Cards have shot better than 50 percent in all four of their games in the NCAA Tournament.

10. This is Rick Pitino’s seventh trip to the Final Four and his third with Louisville. He made three trips with Kentucky and one with Providence.

11. It was just the second Elite Eight loss from Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who is now 11-2 in regional finals. His only other loss was to Kentucky in 1998. Tubby Smith was the Kentucky coach then.

12. Gorgui Dieng had a double-double, with 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Cardinals.

13. Pitino credited his son, Richard, with making a couple of suggestions Friday about how to run the pick-and-roll against the Duke defense.

14. Krzyzewski: “Their two guards just set an amazing pace. Siva — I don’t know if he‑‑ didn’t look like he was even sweating today. He just was so smooth. And then Smith is terrific.”

15. After being outrebounded 18-12 in the first half, Louisville outrebounded Duke 25-13 in the second half.

16. The Cards gave Luke Hancock much of the credit for holding Duke’s Seth Curry to 12 points. Curry scored 29 in Duke’s Friday night win over Michigan State, but he was held scoreless in the first half Saturday.

17. Louisville will play Wichita State at 6:09 p.m. in the first Final Four game on Saturday in Atlanta. Michigan will play Syracuse in the second game.

18. Kevin Ware was born in New York but played his high school basketball for Rockdale County High School in Conyers, Georgia, about 20 miles southeast of Atlanta.

19. As was the case after winning the Big East Tournament in New York, Louisville did not cut down the nets inside Lucas Oil Stadium.

20. Shortly after Louisville’s men earned their Final Four berth, the Louisville women upset defending champion and top-ranked Baylor 82-81 in the NCAA regional semifinal.

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