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In the Cards: Louisville routs Duke to advance to Final Four
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - It took 21 years, but Rick Pitino finally got his revenge against Duke.
Russ Smith scored 23 points and helped trigger a pivotal second-half run that vaulted Louisville into its second straight Final Four, with the Cardinals pulling away for an 85-63 triumph over the Blue Devils in the first NCAA Tournament showdown between Pitino and Mike Krzyzewski since Duke's unforgettable overtime win over Pitino's Kentucky squad in the 1992 Elite 8.
Unlike Christian Laettner's famed last-second shot that gave the Blue Devils a 104-103 decision over Pitino's Wildcats in Philadelphia more than two decades ago, there was no such drama after Smith, Gorgui Dieng and Peyton Siva led the Cardinals on a 20-4 tear that turned a tie game into a 16-point differential Duke never came close to overcoming.
Siva netted 10 of his 16 points after halftime, while Dieng put up eight of his 14 points during Louisville's game-deciding stretch in addition to grabbing 11 rebounds.
Motivated by a gruesome broken leg that backup point guard Kevin Ware sustained in the first half, the Cardinals (33-5) tallied 50 points on 59.3 percent shooting during the second to advance to the Final Four in back-to-back years for the first time since 1982-83.
Louisville, the tournament's No. 1 overall seed, will next take on surprising Wichita State in Atlanta in Saturday's National Semifinal.
Duke (30-6), on the other hand, went an off-target 9-of-28 from the field after intermission in the loss, only the Blue Devils' second in 13 Elite 8 appearances under Krzyzewski.
Mason Plumlee did hit on 6-of-9 shots in a 17-point, 12-rebound effort for the second-seeded Blue Devils, with Seth Curry and Quinn Cook each finishing with 12 points.
03/31 19:59:29 ET
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