(ATLANTA) — The top-ranked Louisville Cardinals (34-5) got all they could handle from the ninth-ranked Wichita State Shockers (30-9) on Saturday night.
The Cardinals were able to hold them off late and punch their ticket for a shot at the national title on Monday night with a 72-68 win.
Russ Smith hit three of four free throws in the final 40 seconds to close the game. Louisville’s biggest lead of the game came after Luke Hancock hit a three-pointer with 1:58 remaining that gave the Cardinals a 65-60 advantage.
Louisville trailed by 12 points with 13 minutes to play in the second half. Smith finished with 21 points and Hancock scored 20 off the bench.
Cleanthony Early scored 24 points and added 10 rebounds in the loss for the Shockers.
Louisville will get the winner of Syracuse and Michigan on Monday.
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Madison Park, Keith Allen and Andreas Preuss, CNN