Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Unable to watch, Kevin Ware had his face in his jersey as Louisville attempted its game-sealing free throws down the stretch.
Russ Smith had 21 points and Luke Hancock added 20 as Louisville downed gritty and valiant Wichita State, 72-68, to advance to its first national championship game since 1986.
The Cardinals (34-5) led 70-68 with eight seconds left as Hancock stepped to the foul line. He sunk the first shot and missed the second. As the ball ricocheted sharply off the back rim, Wichita State's Ron Baker appeared to secure the rebound, but Hancock reached in and forced a jump ball. The possession arrow was in favor of Louisville.
Smith stepped up with 4.9 ticks to go and split a pair to seal the outcome.
Cleanthony Early tallied 24 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Shockers (30-9).