NCAA: U of L Wins; UK and IU Meet Friday; Bellarmine Eliminated

by Rick Howlett on March 23, 2012

The Louisville Cardinals are one victory away from their first NCAA Final Four appearance since 2005.

U of L upset Michigan State 57-44 last night to advance to the Elite Eight round of the men’s basketball tournament and will face Florida Saturday in Phoenix. Tipoff is 4:30pm Eastern time. The game will pit Cards coach Rick Pitino against his protege, Gators’ coach Billy Donovan.

Chane Behanan led the Cards in scoring with 15 points and Gorgui Dieng added nine blocked shots.

The Kentucky Wildcats and Indiana Hoosiers square off tonight in the South Region semifinals in Atlanta.

Indiana won the teams’ regular season meeting in December. IU coach Tom Crean says the Wildcats are playing better as a unit.

“As good as each individual player is on the team, I think it’s a great credit to (UK Coach) John (Calipari) in a way that no matter who’s there, no matter who’s not there, they continue to play at a really high level,” Crean said.

Many are predicting that this is UK’s year to win the title, but Calipari says that’s the expectation from the Wildcat fan base every season.

“And I love our fans. They’re crazy. They watch the game tapes three times. I don’t watch the game tapes three times. But that’s coaching and playing at Kentucky. It’s a little different, let me say that,” he said.

Kentucky and Indiana will tip off at 9:45 tonight.

In the men’s Division II tournament, defending champ Bellarmine’s quest for a second straight national title came to an end last night as the Knights fell to Montevallo of Alabama 79-72 in a Final Four game.

Montevallo will take on Western Washington Saturday for the championship.

(Photo courtesy of NCAA/Getty Images)

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