Championship Recap

#1Louisville (33-5) 70
#4Syracuse (30-9) 65

Out of 347 D-I basketball squads, Syracuse finished 232nd in free throw percentage at 67.5 percent. Through the first four games of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, the Orange shot 67.5 percent from the charity stripe. In WhatIfSports.com's 2013 championship game simulation, Syracuse only managed to connect on 66.7 percent of their free chucks. The five misses cost Jim Boeheim's guys a shot at cutting down the nets in Atlanta.

The first half was a classic Big East slugfest. Neither team held a lead larger than six points at any point during the first 20 minutes. In fact, the game was so close, nine lead changes occurred in the first half alone. With the game tied at 29 and 70 seconds on the clock, James Southerland buried a triple try to give Syracuse a three-point lead. Peyton Siva came back down the court and knocked down a 14-foot jumper courtesy of an assist from Wayne Blackshear. The Orange headed into halftime with a 32-31 lead.

The second half came down to which team would blink first. When you break down any box score, a modest 10-5 run shouldn't jump out and scream "game over!" However, in this contest, the five-point swing in favor of Louisville, following a clutch three pointer off the hand of Russ Smith, opened up a seven-point lead for the Cardinals, just enough to keep the Orange from tying the game up or retaking the lead for the rest of the contest.

Syracuse did have a couple cracks at making the game interesting late, but a turnover and a missed C.J. Fair jumper in the final minute removed all doubt. The Cardinals cut down the nets in Sim-lanta.

Louisville beats Syracuse 70-65.

View other Final Four Recaps.

Louisville

Player MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A REB AST BLK STL TO PF TP
Russ Smith*348-141-42-232043219
Peyton Siva*324-90-13-467032411
Montrezl Harrell304-90-07-860012115
Gorgui Dieng*303-60-02-211210328
Chane Behanan*261-60-03-46202125
Wayne Blackshear*212-41-21-20101136
Luke Hancock171-41-32-21100235
Stephan Van Treese100-10-01-24100111
TOTALS 200 23-53 3-10 21-26 37 16 1 11 15 18 70
    43.4% 30.0% 80.8%              

Syracuse

Player MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A REB AST BLK STL TO PF TP
James Southerland*354-121-52-222013311
Brandon Triche*358-143-61-426014220
Michael Carter-Williams*342-80-33-45702457
C.J. Fair*344-90-01-18112119
Rakeem Christmas*222-50-01-24020145
Baye Keita181-10-00-06040112
Trevor Cooney122-51-42-20001137
Jerami Grant102-40-00-04101104
TOTALS 200 25-58 5-18 10-15 31 17 7 8 16 19 65
    43.1% 27.8% 66.7%              
* - denotes game starter
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