Wake Forest 60, Louisville 59
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Tim Duncan, healthy again, hoisted his Wake Forest teammates on his back and carried them into the Midwest Regional final.
Duncan scored 27 points, including the go-ahead three-point play with 1:16 remaining, as Wake Forest rallied to defeat Louisville 60-59 Thursday night.
The All-American center, who played with the flu and was limited to 23 points total in the Demon Deacons’ first two tournament victories, also had 13 rebounds and seven blocked shots.
Wake Forest (26-5), the region’s second seed, needs a win over top-seeded Kentucky on Saturday to reach the Final Four for the first time in 34 years. Kentucky (31-2) looked all but unbeatable in a 101-70 victory over Utah earlier Thursday.
Louisville (22-12), which shot 33 percent overall and was 3-of-19 from 3-point range, didn’t score after taking a 59-54 lead with 4:52 to play.
Rusty LaRue made a 3-pointer to pull the Deacons within two and the teams traded several unsuccessful possessions before Duncan hit a spinning, 5-foot bank shot and was fouled by Damion Dantzler. The Cardinals claimed Duncan was fouled before the shot, but he was awarded the free throw and made it to put Wake Forest ahead.
Louisville’s DeJuan Wheat missed two shots down the stretch, including a wild banker in the closing seconds.