The Louisville Cardinals enter the NCAA Final Four as the team most casual fans likely know the least about considering their 2012 roster doesn't include the mainstays everyone grew to love like Edgar Sosa, Preston Knowles, Jerry Smith and all of the other four-year contributors from yesteryear.
That doesn't mean that Louisville is lacking in talent -- they wouldn't be written about at this point of the postseason if that was the case -- but they have some new impact players that haven't really shown up on the big stage prior to this year's Big Dance.
Rick Pitino's offensive leader is point guard Peyton Siva, a 6-foot junior that has yet to find his scoring thus far in the tournament. The shifty guard isn't known for his outside shot so it shouldn't surprise anyone that he's made just 12 of his 34 attempts thus far in the Big Dance, but Siva is still averaging seven assists per contest and coming big on the defensive end more often than not to cement his role as an "impact" player.
Picking up the slack in scoring, then, has been sophomore guard Russ Smith off the bench. The 6-foot guard hasn't played more than 23 minutes during the tournament, but the waterbug guard is averaging 20 points over the course of Louisville's last three games.
On the defensive side of the ball, sophomore center Gorgui Dieng has come up huge, as the 6-foot-11 Senegalese native attempts to block every shot available. Dieng's only done anything in double-figures once this postseason, when he posted 10 rebounds against New Mexico, but his seven blocks against Michigan State all but secured the upset victory over the Spartans to help Louisville andvance to where they are now.