ATLANTA (AP) - Wichita State did everything right for nearly 30 minutes, building a second-half lead and putting itself in position to become the highest-seeded team to play for a national title.
The final 10 minutes, mighty Louisville started to play like Louisville, and the Shockers' feel-good story started to slip away.
The turnovers started to mount, the missed shots became more numerous, and a jump ball at the worst of times kept them from having a chance in overtime.
Instead, Russ Smith made enough free throws in the final seconds to give the Cardinals a 72-68 victory Saturday night, sending the Shockers home from their first Final Four trip since 1965.
Cleanthony Early had 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Shockers, who finished the season with a school-record 30 victories. Carl Hall added 13 points.