Louisville Destroys Duke To Get To The Final Four; Michigan Breaks Out A Secret Weapon

The last time Rick Pitino and Mike Krzyzewski met up in a NCAA Tournament game, they were a part of one of the most memorable moments in basketball history. This time, 21 years later, their latest matchup will be remembered for an entirely different reason. … Duke was simply outclassed by Louisville, falling 85-63 and getting the snot punched out of them during a landslide second half. Peyton Siva (16 points) and Russ Smith (23 points) spent most of the night shredding Duke’s defense off the high screen-n-roll. They were living inside Duke’s living room while on the other side, the Blue Devils couldn’t even get in the house. Ryan Kelly scored seven early points, then got in foul trouble and never scored again, while Seth Curry (12 points) faced multiple defenders. Barkley called it in the pregame: he couldn’t even get a shot off … Siva and Smith spearheaded a 13-2 second half run to give Louisville the first double-digit lead of the game as Duke went over eight minutes without a basket. Smith can contort his body like a pretzel and uses the Euro Step as often as James Harden. But the next person to call him Russdiculous gets a slap and the mute button. We blame Stu Scott for this embarrassing turn of events … But what we’re all going to remember this game for is the gruesome fall Louisville’s Kevin Ware took in the first half. The news now is somewhat good (he broke his right leg in two places, but it sounds like he’ll be back playing in a year or so) considering when we first saw it, it looked even worse than Shaun Livingston‘s injury. But it was just a freaky situation. Russ Smith was openly crying. The entire bench had to hold each other together. Siva and the rest of the guys on the court collapsed. Pitino was wiping away tears throughout the nine-minute break. Even Tyler Thornton on the other end had this look on his face as if he was going through a terrible case of heartburn. Pitino later said Ware’s bone was six inches out of his leg and yet all he was doing was yelling “Win the game! Win the game!” … Louisville is now 29-0 this year when leading at the half. They were up 35-32 yesterday … In NBA action, Anthony Davis went for 17 points and 13 boards as New Orleans took care of Cleveland by 20, thus bringing up this interesting statistic: AD has 17 double-doubles this year to lead all rookies. Damian Lillard has seven … On the other side, we weren’t quite sure why Cleveland was even playing Kyrie Irving. At this point in the season, only bad can come from that, right? Still, he dropped 31 points, and made one of the most unbelievable reverse layups (plus a foul) in the fourth quarter, switching hands in midair and then scooping the ball around high off the glass with some nasty English while he was nearly out of bounds … Without LeBron and D-Wade, it was Chris Bosh time in San Antonio. The big man scored 23 and canned a triple with 1.9 seconds left to beat the Spurs. It was a memorable finish to an otherwise underwhelming game, at least if you were expecting the Heat to bring their full trifecta. Just ask the fans. According to Darren Rovell, some cat paid $2,500 earlier in the day for a courtside seat (face valued at $955) to the game, then later found out Miami’s two big guns weren’t even playing. Solid purchase … And Chicago barely held off the Pistons by one. Luol Deng pumped in 28 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the winners. … Keep reading to hear why Florida couldn’t hang with Michigan…

Michigan is going back to the Final Four after catching the Gators out of the water, and then pummeling them, 79-59. The Wolverines jumped out 23-5, and it could’ve been even worse they were playing so well. Mitch McGary (11 points, nine boards) looked like David Lee, out-quicking everyone to the ball and using both hands to finish. Trey Burke didn’t shoot well (5-for-16), but he had his fingerprints all over the quick start. And then there was Nik Stauskas (22 points), who burned down the building, hitting all five of his triples in the first half. After trailing 41-17 at one point, a late run to end the first half at least put some Band-Aids on the Gators’ wounds. But Burke had other plans, ripping Scottie Wilbekin at half-court and going in for a breakaway in the final seconds before the break. Then, Michael Frazier II added insult to injury by fouling Stauskas on a three-pointer at the buzzer. It really couldn’t have gotten any worse for the Gators. … Their secret weapon Stauskas still couldn’t miss after the break, and soon had the entire Twitterverse misspelling his name. They eventually put it away for good during a sequence around the 10 minute mark. First, Burke created a turnover and fed Tim Hardaway Jr. for a dunk with a beautiful up-and-under pass. Then after Erik Murphy (0-for-11) tried to break the rim with another ugly jumper, he gave up an easy three-point play to Jordan Morgan to push the Wolverines’ lead back to 20. A few minutes later, they put the icing on the cake on a lob from Trey Burke that Glenn Robinson III (Michigan is 20-1 when he scores in double-figures. Calling him the x-factor is an understatement.) brought down from the heavens. When the carnage finally passed, Chad Ford tweeted: “Michigan has 2 lottery picks – Burke & potentially Robinson III. But 3 other future NBA players in McGary, Hardaway & Stauskas” … During the game, there were quite a few Trey Burke/Damian Lillard comparisons floating around. They do have similar games, and are both already experts at controlling tempo and pace. Burke is a projected lottery pick this summer, and there are a handful of teams that need a point guard like Marshall Henderson needs a muzzle (Sacramento, Dallas, Orlando, Detroit, Toronto) … Marv Albert dropped this gem in the first half: “Here’s Jon Horford, the older brother of Al Horford who currently plays for the Atlanta Hawks.” Hmm … The Knicks won their eighth straight game, stomping on the Celtics, 108-89. Carmelo Anthony went for 24 points and 10 boards, J.R. Smith had 15 points and 12 boards (ending his 30-point game streak) and Raymond Felton (18 points) banked in a half-court shot to end the first half … Washington beat Toronto, 109-92, behind 18 points, 10 assists and six boards from John Wall. He became the fourth player in the last 25 years with at least 370 points, 135 assists and 80 rebounds in the month of March, joining Chris Paul and LeBron James in ’09 and Michael Jordan in ’89. … Meanwhile, after Kobe Bryant passed Wilt Chamberlain and into fourth place on the all-time scoring list, the Mamba told NBA.com that he will probably make a decision this summer on whether to retire after next season or not. He says he is leaning towards retirement, adding that it comes down to whether he’s mentally prepared to be “psychotic” with his training. For someone who has more physical ailments than Tyrion Lannister, he needs that preparation/mental edge. But seriously, does anyone really think Bryant will quit with so many records within his reach? … And in women’s hoops, Brittney Griner and Baylor’s shot at a repeat ended against Louisville after the Cards shot the lights out to knock out the No. 1 seed in the Sweet 16. … We’re out like that fan’s wallet.

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