Louisville wins the Midwest
(TheSpread) – The Midwest Region was considered the toughest in the NCAA Tournament, but the top seed, Louisville, still found its way to the Final Four with a win over Duke on Sunday.
The Cardinals were the top seed in the region and the top overall seed in the tournament when the field was announced. Louisville started its tournament run with a 79-48 win over 16th-seeded North Carolina A&T, and then it beat eighth-seeded Colorado State, 82-56.
Next up for the Cardinals was 12th-seeded Oregon, who Louisville defeated 77-69. That led to a classic meeting with second-seeded Duke for the final spot in next weekend’s Final Four. Louisville managed to put on another impressive display, beating the Blue Devils, 85-63.
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, Louisville had 11/10 odds to win the Midwest region at the start of the tournament, which means a $100 wager on the Cardinals will pay out an additional $110.
In Sunday’s win, Louisville was motivated by an injury to teammate Kevin Ware in the first half. Ware suffered a devastating fracture in his leg when attempting to block a shot. He was stretched out of the building while teammates fought off tears. Louisville trailed at the time of the injury, but played like a new team afterwards. The Cardinals shot 29 of 55 from the field in the win and were led by Russ Smith, who had 23 points.