Louisville knocks off No. 1 seed MSUMar 23, 2012 - 6:50 AM Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Gorgui Dieng's seven blocks and three steals highlighted a suffocating Cardinals defense, and the NCAA Tournament's first No. 1 seed fell as fourth-seeded Louisville knocked out Michigan State, 57-44, in the Sweet 16 action in the West Region on Thursday.
"We knew we were going to come to a war," Dieng said. "We needed to be tougher than them to win this game."
Chane Behanan netted a game-high 15 points while grabbing nine rebounds and Russ Smith donated 11 points for the Cardinals (29-9), who moved on to face Florida with a spot in the Final Four on the line.
Louisville coach Rick Pitino mentored Gators coach Billy Donovan when Donovan played for Providence.
Draymond Green finished his collegiate career with a 13-point, 16-rebound effort, but it was not enough for the Spartans (29-8). Brandon Wood added 14 points in defeat.
Louisville held the top-seeded Spartans to 28.6 percent field goal shooting, including 23.8 percent from three-point range.
"They played their solid defense. And we thought we was pretty well prepared for it. It's not our coach's fault," said Green. "I think they gave us a great game plan. At the end of the day, players play, and we didn't, we just didn't execute well."
Both teams shot poorly in the first half, but Louisville made up for its 1- of-15 two-point field goal mark with seven three-pointers, and took a 23-18 edge into intermission.
After MSU's Keith Appling opened the second with a trey, Louisville ripped off a 12-4 run. Behnan knocked down two jumpers and Peyton Siva made a dunk during the spurt.
Adreian Payne and Green dunked on consecutive possessions as the Spartans got back to within four, 35-31 with a 6-0 run.
But the Cardinals responded by scoring 11 of the next 13 points for their largest lead of the game to that point at 46-33.
Wood's triple with 3:01 to play cut Michigan State's deficit to single digits. Louisville rolled off an 8-0 run a bit later, though, to secure the victory and its first Elite Eight berth since back-to-back runs in the 2008 and 2009 campaigns.
Louisville shot 52 percent (13-of-25) from the field in the second half after posting a 26.7 percent (8-of-30) mark in the first...Dieng played all 40 minutes...Michigan State committed 15 turnovers, including six by Green...Chris Smith finished with nine points for the Cardinals, and Siva had nine assists.
- LOUISVILLE: 57
MICHIGAN STATE: 44
Mar 22 9:49 PM
- LOUISVILLE: 0
MICHIGAN STATE: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Mar 22 7:48 PM
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