Wichita State had a 12-point lead over Louisville with just over 13 minutes to play, but the ninth-seeded Shockers couldn't hold off the No. 1 seed Cardinals in the final minutes. Louisville mounted a comeback that ended with a slim victory for the favorites. Just like that, as Mid-Major Madness put it, "the magic ran out."
SB Nation's home for mid-major news and commentary has followed Wichita State all the way through the tournament, and they have a detailed post up looking at how close the Shockers came to the championship game.
[Wichita State] neutralized the game of Gorgui Dieng, annoying him into foul trouble, and sending him to the bench. The player who was so crucial for the Cardinals all season was not able to score a point.
Dieng did have foul trouble, but he was still on the floor for 30 minutes. That makes the Shockers holding him to no points, down from an average of nearly 10 during the regular season, all the more impressive.
As with any close game, there are particular moments one can point to where everything seemed to slip away, and for Wichita State it came all the way down to the wire:
Were it not for Ron Baker losing his balance as he corralled Luke Hancock's missed free throw with just eight seconds left, and walking into Hancock's arms for a jump ball, this could have kept going just a little longer.
The Shockers would have needed a 3-pointer -- something that is not their forte -- to tie this again. But given the way things have gone in this Tournament to this point, it was not beyond belief that there was some magic, probably in Baker's hands.
Check out the full post for more.