NCAA Final Four Preview: Louisville vs. Wichita State

People will be pouring into Atlanta for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four Tournament beginning Saturday, April 6, in the Georgia Dome. No. 1 Louisville Cardinals will take on No. 9 Shockers Wichita State at 6 p.m. ET while the Michigan Wolverines play Syracuse Orange at 8:50 p.m. ET.

Cardinals vs. Shockers:

After an emotional win against Duke last Saturday, Louisville is coming into the Final Four with one less player. The scene of Kevin Ware’s bone protruding 6-inches out of his leg left the crowd and players in shock, but the game continued as Ware was carried off the court. Louisville’s mind was elsewhere as Duke scored the next six of eight points. Fans watched the Cardinals comeback with eight unanswered points by Russ Smith, Peyton Siva and Gorgui Dieng. Louisville’s determination lead them to a 85-63 victory.

Going into the Final Four, Wichita beat Ohio State in a close game in the Sweet Sixteen, 70-66. The Shockers are currently the first 9-seeded team to make it to the Final Four since 1979 and are looking to be the lowest seeded champions of NCAA Championships.

The Shockers offense will be challenged by the Cardinal’s strong defensive pressure. Holding onto the ball will be crucial if WSU wants a shot at getting a lead in this game. This is where Cleanthony Early will come into play as WSU’s main offensive threat. Louisville is arguably the strongest team in the NCAA this season; however, even top scoring guard Russ Smith will have to be prepared for the Shockers defense and rebounds. Even if they are having trouble holding the ball, the Shockers’s are going to work hard to get it back. One last key player to keep in mind is Kevin Ware. Though he will not be playing, his presence on the bench will inspire his teammates and serve as a reminder that the Cardinals are here to win it all.

(Photo courtesy of  www.streetball.com)

 

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