Basketball - Louisville and Michigan reach NCAA final

No. 1 seed and tournament favourites Louisville rallied from a 12-point second-half deficit to beat Wichita State 72-68 in a NCAA Final Four thriller at the Georgia Dome.

Reuters

The Louisville Cardinals won their 15th game in a row to advance to Monday's national college basketball championship game against Michigan after the Wolverines beat Syracuse 61-56.

Russ Smith led Louisville with 21 points and Luke Hancock added 20 points, including a corner 3-pointer that gave the Cardinals their first lead of the second half with 6:30 to play.

Hancock hit another 3-pointer with two minutes left that put the Cardinals up. He did most of his damage from outside but found his way to the rim on two nifty drives that were a part of a 25-9 Louisville run.

Cleanthony Early scored a game-high 24 points for ninth-seeded Wichita State Shockers, who reached the Final Four for the first since 1965.

Louisville were appearing in the Final Four for the 10th time. They have won the national championship twice, in 1980 and 1986.

Injured Louisville guard Kevin Ware made his way to the Louisville bench as the time ticked down. Ware suffered a broken leg in the Cardinals' win over Duke in the Elite Eight and has been a major inspiration for Rick Pitino's club.

Michigan, a team that features the national player of the year and multiple stars with NBA lineage, advanced to the final for the first time since 1993.

Tim Hardaway Jr. led the Wolverines with 13 points while Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III both had 10 points.

Trey Burke, named national player of the year earlier this week, was held to seven points in front of the second largest crowd in NCAA tournament history, which included actor Will Ferrell, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson.

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