The Louisville Cardinals could not overcome the enormous talent of in-state rival Kentucky and lost a hard fought battle against the Kentucky Wildcats. The coaching talents of veteran coach Rick Pitino helped to keep the game close, but it was not enough in the end. The Cardinals lost 69-61 in their Final Four matchup. Kentucky now holds the bragging rights for the state until they meet again.
Pitino’s Cardinals relied on pure grit, hard work, strong offensive rebounding and the veteran coach’s savvy to keep the score close. Pitino’s teams have always played tough defense and had an us against the rest of the world attitude. However, that was not enough for the team to overcome the immense talent the Wildcats have amassed.
Kentucky’s stable of thoroughbreds is led by Anthony Davis, the newly crowned Associated Press Player of the Year. The freshman helped Kentucky to a record of 37-2 and last night scored 18 points, pulled down 14 rebounds and blocked six of the Cardinals shots.
Nevertheless, the Cardinals would not go away and returned from two double-digit deficits to tie the score at 49 with just nine minutes left on the clock. Kentucky coach John Calipari said Louisville offensive rebounding against his Wildcats was better than any team they faced all season. Calipari praised the way the Cardinals played defense, created turnovers and got second chance opportunities on the offensive end. None of that however added up to a Louisville win. Kentucky will play Kansas for the National Championship Monday night.