Category: Sweet 16

Duke v Louisville

Louisville’s Kevin Ware undergoes successful two-hour procedure on fractured leg

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According to a release from the school, Louisville sophomore guard Kevin Ware underwent a successful two-hour surgical procedure on his fractured right leg.

Ware suffered the injury when he landed awkwardly after challenging a Tyler Thornton jumper with 6:33 remaining in the first half of the Cardinals’ 85-63 win over Duke in the Midwest regional final.

Ware will remain at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis until at least Tuesday, and the school is hopeful that he can travel with the team to next weekend’s Final Four in Atlanta (Ware finished his high school career at Rockdale County HS in Conyers, Ga.).

Ware had the bone re-set, the wound from the injury closed and a rod inserted in his right tibia during approximately two hours of surgery.

Ware will remain in Indianapolis until at least Tuesday, when he is hopeful to return to Louisville and then join the Cardinals as they advance to the NCAA Final Four in Atlanta. A timetable has not been set for a return to basketball competition.

How long the recovery process will be for Ware is unknown at this stage.

But according to Dr. Frederick Azar, a spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and chief of staff at Cambell Clinic in Memphis, recovery can take anywhere from three to six months provided there are no complications.

[Louisville head coach Rick] Pitino told reporters that Ware would be out of  commission for a year, but Azar said that if surgery went well and there were no nerve complications or infections, the young, healthy player could be back on the court in time for next season, or within six months.

Head coach Rick Pitino and son Richard, who just completed his first season as head coach at FIU after being an assistant on his father’s staff, will visit with Ware tonight and early Monday morning according to multiple reports.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Duke runs out of answers in second half against Louisville

Duke v Louisville
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Despite 10 first-half turnovers and three fouls for senior forward Ryan Kelly the Duke Blue Devils trailed Louisville by just three points at the half, 35-32. With those two facts in mind the Blue Devils had to like their chances against the tournament’s top overall seed.

But after a solid start to the second half Duke found itself on the wrong end of a dominant performance, as their struggles on both ends of the floor would ultimately result in an 85-63 Louisville victory.

Duke shot 32% overall and 2-of-10 from three in the second half as they were outscored 50-31 by the Cardinals. With just two second-half turnovers one would assume that the Blue Devils would be in very good shape. But even with the lack of turnovers the ball ended up being funneled into positions where Duke could not hurt Louisville.

“What they do, and Rick’s done an amazing job with them, because they have depth and they keep coming at you, but they make you have multiple decision‑makers,” said Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “You have to have more than one guy making a decision out on the court.

“And in switching their defenses and their quickness and their athleticism, you have to‑‑ it’s tough to run plays.  You have to make plays against them.”

As for the other end of the floor, Louisville struggled to shoot from the perimeter (2-of-13 3PT) outside of a few mid-range jumpers from center Gorgui Dieng and a couple long twos from Peyton Siva.

But their ability to crack the Blue Devil defense and get into the paint proved to be the difference.

The Cardinals shot 59% from the field and 16-of-23 from the foul line in the second half, making 14 of their 19 shots from inside of the arc. That proved to be too much for Duke to overcome given their offensive struggles.

Duke will look to account for the graduation of Kelly, Seth Curry and Mason Plumlee (not to mention assistant Chris Collins, who is the new head coach at Northwestern), and the addition of players such as Matt Jones, Jabari Parker and Semi Ojeleye will help and the same goes for Mississippi State transfer Rodney Hood.

On this day however, Duke simply ran into a better team.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Dominant second half punches Louisville’s ticket to Atlanta

Duke v Louisville

In the aftermath of the gruesome injury suffered by guard Kevin Ware in the first half, it was anyone’s guess how top overall seed Louisville would perform in the second half of the Midwest regional final against 2-seed Duke.

But after a slow start to the second stanza Rick Pitino’s team played at a very high level, blowing the game wide open with their ability to get to the paint at will and winning by the final score of 85-63.

Russ Smith paced the Cardinals, who are making their second consecutive trip to the Final Four, with 23 points while Peyton Siva added 16 points and Gorgui Dieng 14 and nine rebounds.

MORE: Louisville’s reaction to Ware injury wasn’t a surprise

Louisville shot 1-of-12 from beyond the arc but they haven’t been a particularly good three-point shooting team this season, hitting just 33.1% of their shots entering Sunday’s game.

But the Cardinals made up for it with points in the paint, outscoring the Blue Devils 42-30 and also tallying 14 second-chance points (to just five for Duke).

MORE: Duke runs out of answers in second half

Louisville will take on West Region champion Wichita State on Saturday, and if Rick Pitino’s team can attack the basket as they have since the Big East tournament the Cardinals will be tough to knock off.

Was there a dominant team in college basketball during the regular season? No.

But with the Cardinals playing as they have it’s difficult to argue that Louisville is not the prohibitive favorite to cut down the nets next Monday night.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.