Louisville NCAA Rewind: April 6th
With the 2020 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament cancelled, Louisville Report will go back in time to recap all of the University of Louisville men's basketball's NCAA Tournament games from each date in March and early April. Special thanks to Sports-Reference.com for boxscores and the Courier-Journal for newspaper archives.
Louisville's April 6th NCAA Tournament Record: 1-0
2013: Louisville defeats Wichita State 72-68
Thanks to a pair of heroic sharpshooting performances from off the bench, the No. 1 overall seeded Louisville Cardinals used a second half comeback to narrowly avoid an upset to the ninth-seeded Wichita State Shockers and advance to their first title game since 1986.
At this point in the tournament, the Shockers had proven they were more than just a Cinderella and were a team that had a legitimate shot to win it all. En route to their first Final Four appearance since 1965, they had beaten both No. 1 seeded Gonzaga & No. 2 seeded Ohio State and were poised for a third upset.
It very nearly happened too. Right out of the gates, Wichita State established themselves as the more aggressive team. The Shockers took an early 8-0 lead to start the game, and thanks to some uncharacteristic miscues from Louisville such as poor free throw shooting (65.5% for the game), Wichita State led by as much as 12 with 13:36 left in the second half.
"We were struggling defensively, backing off on our pressure," Louisville guard Tim Henderson said. "We really started to turn around when we were getting after them. Then we made that run."
Henderson, who had only scored 16 points all season up to that point, became an unlikely hero. Facing that 12 point deficit, he fired off back-to-back threes to cut Wichita State's lead in half. It helped kick off a 21-8 run to give Louisville their lead. During that time, Luke Hancock also showed off his sharpshooting prowess, hitting the three that put the Cardinals over the hump. He finished the game with 20 points on 6-9 shooting, 3-5 from beyond the arc and 5-7 from the charity stripe.
Despite going just 6-17 from the field and 5-12 from the foul line, Russ Smith led the team in scoring with 21 points. Making up for just 6 rebounds from Gorgui Dieng, Chane Behanan came just one board shy of a double double with 10 points and 9 boards.
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