Big East Out In Big Easy: Louisville Falls In Final Four

Louisville Cardinals center Gorgui Dieng (10) attempts a shot over Kentucky Wildcats forward Anthony Davis during their Final Four game of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament. Kentucky won 69-61 (Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE).

The Big East will not be the conference home of 2012 NCAA men’s basketball tournament champion. The Louisville Cardinals’ second-half run was not enough to match the Kentucky Wildcats in last night’s national semifinal game in the Superdome in New Orleans. Kentucky won 69-61, eliminating the last of nine Big East teams in the tournament.

Though the Cardinals did not fold against the talented Kentucky roster, the pressure of the situation resulted in a poor shooting performance -- 34.8 percent in field goals compared with 57.1 percent for the Wildcats. Louisville kept the game interesting to the end by outrebounding Kentucky 40-33, including 19-6 in offensive rebounds.

Kentucky's Anthony Davis, the AP Player of the Year, led all scorers with 18 points. Darius Miller had 13 for the Wildcats and Louisville's Peyton Siva scored 11.

The Cardinals, who overcame late-season struggles to win the Big East Tournament Championship, finish the season with a 30-10 record. The top-ranked Wildcats (37-2) move on to face the Kansas Jayhawks in the tournament final Monday night.

For more coverage of the Louisville Cardinals, visit Card Chronicle. Stay connected to Big East Coast Bias for news and commentary – without apology – on Big East Conference basketball and football.

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