Harper, Morehead State stun LouisvilleMar 17, 2011 - 11:00 PM Morehead State stunned fourth-seeded Louisville, 62-61.
Demonte Harper's pull-up three-pointer with four seconds left put Morehead State up for good, while the Cardinals failed to make a desperation shot with time running out to give Morehead State its first win over Louisville since 1957.
"During the media timeout, coach said, 'I dreamt about this last night, this exact position we would be in this situation,'" Harper said of his shot. "He said, 'I know exactly where I'm going to, I'm going to put it right in your hands, Demonte. I don't want you to drive it to the hole, I want you to pull up and win the game off a three-pointer.'"
Terrance Hill had a career-high 23 points with eight rebounds, while Ty Proffitt finished with 13 points for the Eagles (25-9), who had lost to Louisville in the round of 64 in the 2009 NCAA tourney.
Morehead will play No. 12 seed Richmond in the third round of the Southwest Region on Saturday.
Kenneth Faried, who established the NCAA modern-era (post-1973) career rebounding record and entered the tournament with 1,643 career boards, pulled down 17 rebounds, poured in 12 points, and provided crucial defense on Louisville's last-second shot.
Chris Smith notched a team-high 17 points and six boards for the Cardinals (25-10), who lost star guard Preston Knowles midway through the second half when he turned his ankle.
"Well, I was real proud of our team this year," Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said. "This is as tough a loss as I've had in coaching, and I've been coaching a long time, after tonight maybe too long. I feel terrible for our guys because they were just a wonderful group to coach."
The Eagles used a game-changing 10-1 run to claim a 49-48 edge with just under eight minutes left. Hill had a three-pointer and went 2-for-4 from the free throw line during the run.
From there, the game was nip-and-tuck, as Hill's trey with 5:24 left gave Morehead State its biggest lead of the half, 57-52. Louisville, though, went on a nine-point burst to claim a 61-57 lead with 80 seconds left.
Faried made two key free throws with 31 ticks remaining, and at the other end of the court, Louisville's Elisha Justice missed the front end of a 1-and-1 to set up Harper's heroic triple from the top of the arc.
The Cardinals had some time to work with to steal the victory, but during the questionable play, Mike Marra stumbled just before getting a three-point shot off. Faried played stingy defense and blocked the attempt to secure the win.
"I mean, you can't really expect the ref to make a call," Marra said. "Faried played good defense. I'm not really mad about the call. It is what it is."
Morehead State started hot, jumping out to a 15-2 lead, as Louisville didn't score for the first six-plus minutes. However, the Eagles cooled down, allowing Louisville to edge its way back into the game -- though it took the Cardinals nearly the entire half to claim their first lead.
Justice and Smith buried back-to-back three-pointers to pull Louisville within 27-26 with 3:33 left in the half. A minute later, Proffitt responded with a trey.
The Cardinals scored the next seven points, though, and took a 33-30 edge when Kyle Kuric buried a trey from the corner. But in true March Madness form, Hill sank a long-distance three-pointer with time running out to knot the game at the half.
Louisville looked to have taken control of the game in the second half, grabbing a 47-39 lead on Smith's trey with 11:52 remaining.
"I think it's, without question, the biggest win in the history of our program," said Morehead State head coach Donnie Tyndall. "Coach [Wayne] Martin, who is the best coach to ever coach at Morehead State, had some big wins during his time. I think to be a first-round game against an in-state power, to be able to knock them off, I don't think it's ever been bigger than that in the history of our school."
Louisville fell to 60-39 in 37 NCAA tourney appearances, while Morehead State improved to 6-7 in seven appearances...The Cardinals hold a 31-12 lead in the all-time series...Knowles left the game with 8:51 left. He finished with nine points and five assists.
- MOREHEAD STATE: 62
Mar 17 3:55 PM
- MOREHEAD STATE: 33
Mar 17 2:33 PM
- MOREHEAD STATE: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Mar 17 1:41 PM
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