published Saturday, March 24th, 2012

Louisville in Final 4 with 72-68 win over Florida

  • photo
    Louisville head coach Rick Pitino, left, directs his team against Florida in the closing moments of the second half of an NCAA tournament West Regional final college basketball game today in Phoenix. Louisville won the game 72-68. (AP Photo/Matt York)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

PHOENIX (AP) — Rick Pitino nudged out Billy Donovan for a spot in the Final Four on Saturday when his Louisville team finished the game on a 23-8 run for a 72-68 victory over Florida in the West Regional.

Chane Behanan hit the go-ahead basket with 1:04 left for fourth-seeded Louisville, then after two Cardinals free throws, Florida's Bradley Beal and Erving Walker each missed chances to tie.

The seventh-seeded Gators (26-11) fell in the regional semifinals for the second straight year, while Louisville (30-9) will go to the Final Four for the ninth time, and the second under Pitino.

Russ Smith led Louisville with 19 points and Behanan had 17. The Cardinals played the final 3:58 without point guard Peyton Siva, who fouled out.

The Gators shot 8 for 11 from 3-point range in the first half but didn't make one in the second.

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