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, Giorgui 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 top-seeded Cardinals (33-5) tallied 50 points
on 59.3 percent shooting during the second to advance to the National
Semifinal in back-to-back years for the first time since 1982-83.
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
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