Here are three observations from Louisville's 72-68 win during the first of two national semifinals at the Final Four in Atlanta:
1. As Louisville's stars struggled to find consistency on the offensive end, Cardinals forward Luke Hancock stepped in to save the day
Though the NCAA tournament's and team's leading scorer, Russ Smith, finished with 21 points, it was clear he never really found his comfort zone in the semifinal. He shot just 6-of-17, including missing seven free throws something that had never happened in any game his entire career. Louisville's second-leading scorer Gorgui Dieng finished with zero points on just one shot.
Not only did he deliver a memorable second-half performance, but he also knocked down the free throw to make it a three-point game with 12 seconds remaining, then missed the second shot only to tie up Wichita State's Ron Baker to force a jump ball. The possession arrow, of course, was aimed at Louisville. Game over.