ATLANTA -- In the end, few were shocked with the outcome. Yet for the bulk of the national championship semifinal, the Wichita State men's basketball team kept Louisville on the ropes.
A late-second half rally by the Cardinals helped them advance to the national championship game with a 72-68 win over the Shockers tonight at the Georgia Dome.
The Cardinals rallied from a 12-point deficit in the second half and tied the game at 58-58 with 5:22 left on a pair of free throws by Peyton Siva. Less than three minutes later, Louisville stretched its lead to 65-60 and went 6 for 8 from the free-throw line in the final minute.
Cleanthony Early led Wichita State (30-9) with 24 points and 10 rebounds and Russ Smith led Louisville with 21 points.
Louisville (34-5) will face either Michigan or Syracuse in the national title game at 9:23 p.m. Monday at the Georgia Dome.