Posted March 29, 2013 on
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Louisville survived its first test.
Russ Smith matched his career high with 31 points to lead three Cardinals in double figures, and top-seeded Louisville showed it can win close games, too, beating Oregon 77-69 on Friday night.
Kevin Ware added 11 and Gorgui Dieng had 10 points and nine rebounds for Louisville, which has won 13 straight. Coach Rick Pitino improved to 11-0 in the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament.
''We dug ourselves a pretty big hole and weren't able to come back,'' Oregon coach Dana Altman said. ''Louisville is a very good basketball team and very talented. Smith got going to the basket and we just never got him slowed down.''
The 12th-seeded Ducks (28-9) at least made a game of it late. After Louisville went up 66-48 with 9:01 left, Oregon made six straight field goals to close to 70-64 - the closest anyone's been to the Cardinals in a couple of weeks.
But Kevin Ware scored on a layup and Chane Behanan threw down a monstrous dunk to put the game out of reach. Still, Oregon is only the second team to be within single digits at the buzzer during Louisville's run.
Louisville (32-5) moves on to play the winner of Michigan State-Duke on Sunday, hoping to advance to the Final Four for the second straight year.
E.J. Singler's 15 points led five Ducks in double figures, and the Ducks had only 12 turnovers - one fewer than the Cardinals. But Oregon could never recover from its poor first half, when the Ducks were plagued by foul trouble - Johnathan Loyd had three before halftime - and an off night by Damyean Dotson. The freshman was huge in Oregon's victory over Saint Louis, scoring a career-high 23. But he was 0 for 6 in the first half, and didn't make a field goal until midway through the second. He finished with 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting.
''It wasn't there in the first half,'' Arsalan Kazemi said.
The Cardinals were barely tested in either of their first two games, beating North Carolina A&T by 31 and Colorado State by 26. They set an NCAA record with 20 steals against A&T, outrebounded one of the country's best rebounding teams in Colorado State and left both teams with ugly shooting lines.
But the Cardinals were tested many times Friday night.
Peyton Siva spent the last 15:19 of the first half on the bench after picking up his second foul. But even without their floor general, the Cardinals didn't miss a beat thanks to Smith. He hit a 3 to spark a 14-3 run that put Louisville up 24-8, and the game seemed to be all but over.
Smith had seven points during the spurt. When he finished the run with a layup, it was Russ Smith 9, Oregon 8.
The Ducks weren't going away that easily, though. After Luke Hancock's 3 capped a 12-2 run that put Louisville up 66-48, the Ducks would make six straight field goals. When Dotson knocked down a jumper with 5:12 remaining, it got Oregon within six, the closest it had been since early in the first half.
Closest anyone had been to Louisville since the Big East tournament, actually.
But part of what makes the Cardinals so imposing is their maturity - and their options, which seem endless. Instead of panicking, the Cardinals regrouped and regained control, and the Ducks never threatened again.
BEST OF MAXIM
Kevin Ware of Louisville suffered one of the most intense and gruesome leg injuries we have ever seen during their match-up in the Elite Eight against Duke. Our thoughts and prayers are with Kevin and we wish him a speedy recovery.
Article found on: Next Impulse Sports
Duke and Louisville’s battle to earn a Final Four berth is taking a back seat as Louisville guard Kevin Ware left Sunday’s game after suffering a gruesome leg injury.
With 6:33 remaining in the first half against the Blue Devils, Ware went out to contest a three-pointer when he landed awkwardly. Announcer Jim Nantz speculated that Ware dislocated some part of his leg, and...
Louisville coach Rick Pitino is baffled by Russ Smith.
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''I look at (player of the year) lists, and I don't see Russ Smith...
Russ Smith matched his career high with 31 points to lead three Cardinals in double figures, and top-seeded Louisville overcame its toughest test yet in a 77-69 victory over Oregon on Friday night.
Kevin Ware added 11 and Gorgui Dieng had 10 points and nine rebounds for Louisville, which has won 13 straight. Coach Rick Pitino improved to 11-0 in the regional semifinals of the NCAA...
Louisville guard Kevin Ware has been carried off the court after badly injuring his lower right leg during the Midwest Regional final against Duke on Sunday.
An official tells several reporters that a bone snapped. Trainers immediately covered the leg with a towel and placed Ware on a backboard, then lifted him onto a stretcher.
Teammates huddled around Ware as he left the court...
This unfortunately is not for the squeamish. But thankfully it was not a close up shot.
Sunday's Elite 8 Matchup between Duke and Louisville was delayed for about 15-minutes in the 1st Half after an absolutely horrific looking injury to Louisville Guard Kevin Ware.
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After Louisville's Kevin Ware suffered an awful and traumatic injury in their regional final game vs Duke, classless blogs raced to gif the injury so that they could cash in on the hits. Luckily, CBS, ESPN, SB Nation and many others made the decision not to show it. It's gruesome. If you really want to see it, you can find it on the internet.
Sports Illustrated - Pete...
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Louisville Cardinals guard Kevin Ware's horrific leg injury will keep him out for at least a year, if not longer.
Louisville's Kevin Ware's right leg snapped against Duke in their Elite Eight showdown, stopping the game in it's tracks.
Louisville's Kevin Ware suffered a horrendous leg injury in the first half of their Elite 8 win over Duke when he landed awkwardly on his right leg after he challenged a shot by Duke's Tyler Thornton.
He was rushed to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis and thankfully underwent a successful two hour procedure to repair his broken bone. He "had the bone reset, the...
In case you missed it, Louisville guard Kevin Ware suffered one of the most gruesome injuries you are ever likely to see on a basketball court during Sunday's Elite Eight game against Duke.Ware sustained the injury with just over six minutes to play in the first half while attempting to block a three-point shot attempt by the Blue Devils. As Ware was coming down to land from...
Louisville talks after Kevin Ware breaks his leg.
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Joe Theismann's career with the Washington Redskins was cut short by a gruesome leg injury, and he sent his thoughts out to Kevin Ware of Louisville.