marchmadness

Louisville’s Going To The National Championship After A Double-Digit Comeback And A Controversial Call

Louisville made a furious rally thanks to some hyperaggressive defense, a flurry of threes, and one very questionable tie-up.

1. Number-one overall seed Louisville was the huge favorite in their Final Four match-up against Cinderella Wichita State. But during the first half, they struggled on offense:

2. And Wichita State continuously forced them into turnovers that they’d turn into points like this.

3. But WSU’s lead, which grew as large as 12 points, started to evaporate in the second half when walk-on Tim Henderson — who only scored 16 points all season — hit this three-pointer.

4. And on Louisville’s next possession, he did it again from the exact same spot, cutting the Shockers’ lead in half.

5. At that point, Louisville began to play much better basketball all-around, and it wasn’t long until the team’s x-factor — its full-court press — began to work wonders.

6. Off of that turnover, bench player Luke Hancock, who had 20 in the game, came all the way across the court to hit this huge three, giving Louisville its first lead since early in the first half.

7. Meanwhile, even when Wichita State did manage to get the ball across mid-court, they ran into plays like this Gorgui Dieng block.

8. The game reached a fever pitch with 9 seconds to go. Hancock hit the first of two free throws, then bricked his second.

9. But as soon as Ron Baker grabbed the rebound, Hancock tied him up, and the possession arrow pointed to Louisville. Russ Smith got the inbounds and, once fouled, hit one of his two free throw, sealing the deal.

10. It looks to me like the call was correct, and that Hancock did get both hands on the ball, but plenty of observers cried foul, including Phil Jackson.

Either way, winning the game on the possession arrow, which is essentially an arbitrary device, feels wrong. (In the NBA, the two players would have had to jump for it to determine possession.)

12. On the bright side: Kevin Ware is happy.

13. And the game’s two unlikeliest heroes are goofy as hell.

John Bazemore / AP

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