Quick recap: Cats advance to title game with 69-61 win over Cards


Kentucky Wildcats forward Anthony Davis goes for a layup during the first half of the UK vs. Louisville National Semi-finals at the Super Dome in New Orleans, Louisiana March 31, 2012.. Photo by Brandon Goodwin

Key player: When some of the Cats failed to produce during the course of the game, National Player of the Year Anthony Davis did not. Davis shot 7-8 in the game for 18 points. Despite the Cardinals pulling in 37 rebounds, Davis remained aggressive in nabbing 13 of his own.

Turning point/key stretch: Senior Darius Miller made all the big plays at all the essential moments. In the early stages of the second half, it was Miller who sparked an 8-0 run for the Cats. During that run, the Cats were aided by the senior’s four points and two steals. Again late in the game, Miller stepped up. After Louisville tied the game at the 9:13 mark of the second half, the teams went back and forth before Miller drained a 3-pointer to give the Cats their largest lead of seven points since the 12 minute mark in the game. He would finish with 13 points, 3 rebounds and 2 steals.

The good: The fact that UK won while definitely not playing their best says volumes about the Cats. Louisville killed them on the boards, forced them into mistakes, but the Cats still won. As is predictable in the domes, the shooting wasn’t spectacular. UK made two of their seven 3-point attempts. They also missed nine free throws, a huge difference from their strong shooting from the stripe during the rest of the tournament.

Stat of the game: The Cards out-rebounded UK 37-31. Not many teams can say that this season. Louisville’s biggest difference in the rebounding advantage can be contributed to their 16-5 rebounds on the offensive end.

What’s next: The Cats will play the winner of Ohio State/Kansas Monday at 9:05 p.m. EST after defeating Louisville 69-61 in their Final Four matchup. UK defeated the Jayhawks once this season, 75-65, in the inaugural Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York.