Mar 31, 2012, 8:27 PM EST
One of the most-anticipated games in the history of the Kentucky/Louisville series provided the expected result in the end.
Behind 18 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots from Anthony Davis, No. 1 seed Kentucky (37-2) advanced to Monday’s national title game with a 69-61 win over No. 4 seed Louisville.
Peyton Siva led the Cardinals (30-10) with 11 points and Chane Behanan added ten points and eight rebounds, but it wasn’t enough as the Wildcats were able to pull away down the stretch.
Kentucky led by as many as 13 points early in the second half and had the look of a team poised to blow things open.
But Louisville refused to go away, and with Siva and Gorgui Dieng playing better the Cardinals were able to tie the game at 49 with 9:13 remaining.
Dieng finished with seven points, 12 rebounds and four blocks, and as a team Louisville grabbed 16 offensive rebounds.
However Kentucky would answer with an 11-2 run, taking a 60-51 lead on a pair of Darius Miller free throws with 4:29 to go.
Kentucky made up for the rebounding issues by shooting 58% from the field, which is the highest a Louisville opponent has shot from the field this season.
The biggest problem for Louisville however was their offensive work in the paint, as they missed 16 dunks and layups against Kentucky. Make enough of those and there’s a chance that it’s Louisville advancing.
But some credit for that should go to the Kentucky defense, as they limited the Cardinals to 35% shooting.
“You have to either throw it out and get an easy shot or you have to finish,” said Pitino when asked about how to deal with a shot-blocker like Davis. “We didn’t finish inside. We kept missing inside.”
With Davis, Terrence Jones and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to contend with, it comes as no surprise that simple shots are so difficult to make against Kentucky.
Kentucky won the regular season meeting 69-62 in Lexington on New Year’s Eve, and they set a school record for wins in a single season with their win on Saturday night.
Jan 31, 2015, 5:04 PM EST
Kendall Anthony scored 20 points in the second half to lead Richmond to the 64-55 win, but the status of Weber is VCU’s greatest concern.
Jan 31, 2015, 3:11 PM EST
Jerian Grant, Notre Dame see comeback fall short at Pitt.
Jan 31, 2015, 2:34 PM EST
Trevor Lacey makes one of the best buzzer-beaters of the season to give N.C. State a road win at Georgia Tech.
Jan 31, 2015, 1:45 PM EST
Florida’s Alex Murphy with a nominee for Saturday’s dunk of the day.
Jan 31, 2015, 1:15 PM EST
Bruce Pearl received a warm ovation from Tennessee fans in his first game back as an opposing head coach.
Jan 31, 2015, 12:34 PM EST
Illinois will continue to be without two injured guards as both players were suspended indefinitely.
Jan 31, 2015, 12:15 PM EST
A tumultuous season gets worse for UMBC.
Jan 31, 2015, 11:15 AM EST
Raheem Appleby showed surprising hops as the 6-foot-4 guard threw down a solid dunk over a Western Kentucky defender.
Jan 31, 2015, 10:10 AM EST
Louisville head coach Rick Pitino believes one of his underclassmen will definitely leave for the NBA.
Pregame Shootaround: Duke battles Virginia and Wichita State gets its biggest Valley test on a busy Saturday
Jan 31, 2015, 9:00 AM EST
Duke and Virginia highlights a busy Saturday slate.
Jan 30, 2015, 11:01 PM EST
Here is a rundown of all the action from Friday night.
Jan 30, 2015, 9:30 PM EST
The Jayhawks will wear these on Feb. 28.
Jan 30, 2015, 7:45 PM EST
That rivalry ended when Mizzou left the Big 12 in favor of the SEC.
Jan 30, 2015, 6:30 PM EST
Trey Davis left the court with only seconds remaining after colliding into a Kendall Pollard screen.
Jan 30, 2015, 5:45 PM EST
The backup guard has missed the last five games.
Jan 30, 2015, 5:09 PM EST
“Big Country,” Randy Rutherford and the rest of the squad is expected back for the team’s game against Kansas to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their trip to the Final Four.
Jan 30, 2015, 4:04 PM EST
Bruce Pearl expressed remorse over how his tenure at Tennessee ended and also remains thankful for former Tennessee AD Mike Hamilton.
Jan 30, 2015, 2:47 PM EST
Having already lost one game in Ivy League play, Harvard looks to bounce back with a win at Princeton.
Jan 30, 2015, 12:50 PM EST
Aaron White suffered a stinger in Iowa’s loss to Purdue, and Gabe Olaseni is dealing with a sprained ankle suffered Monday.
Jan 30, 2015, 11:43 AM EST
The donation will be used to improve the basketball offices and practice facility, with leftover funds being used for any improvements that may need to be made down the line.
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