Louisville forward Kyle Kuric's first attempt at the winning shot against No. 4 Pittsburgh ended up getting slammed back in his face.
The second put the 16th-ranked Cardinals ahead in overtime. The third nearly led to one of the most costly premature celebrations in college basketball history.
Kuric scored 12 points, including two big baskets in overtime, to lead the Cardinals past the Panthers, 62-59, on Sunday in Louisville, Ky.
“It was a big win for us for obvious reasons,” Kuric said. We won with defense, No. 1, and then rebounding. If you miss a shot, don’t let it affect you.”
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Kuric hardly looked bothered when his winning layup at the end of regulation was swatted to the ground by Pitt’s Brad Wanamaker. The junior swingman atoned by hitting a 3-pointer early in the extra session, then appeared to seal Louisville’s second win over a top five team this season on a dunk with less than a second remaining.
That’s when things got a little bizarre.
Confusion reigned briefly after the bucket, which put the Cardinals up 62-57. Some Louisville cheerleaders on the baseline raced onto the floor thinking the game was over, with one male cheerleader grabbing the ball and tossing it in the air.
Officials called Louisville for a delay-of-game technical foul and put .5 seconds back on the clock. Pitt’s Ashton Gibbs knocked down two free throws and the Panthers had one last chance to tie, but Gibbs couldn’t get off a desperation heave in time.
“All good things have to come to an end, and the male cheerleader (at Louisville) comes to an end,” joked Louisville coach Rick Pitino. “Hopefully he’ll learn the rules.”
Peyton Siva led the Cardinals (22-7, 11-5 Big East) with 14 points. Gilbert Brown scored 20 points and Wanamaker had 13 points, 12 rebounds and six assists for the Panthers (25-4, 13-3), who turned it over three times and missed all three of their field goal attempts in overtime.
At No. 9 Duke 66, No. 13 North Carolina 58: Jasmine Thomas scored 17 points, and the Blue Devils (26-3, 12-2 ACC) clinched the top seed in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament by beating the Tar Heels (22-7, 8-6).
At Florida 74, No. 22 Georgia 71: Jaterra Bonds scored 22 points, Jordan Jones added 18 and the Gators (17-13, 7-9 SEC) handed the Bulldogs (20-9, 10-6) their third consecutive loss
No. 3 Baylor 82, at No. 16 Oklahoma 81: Odyssey Sims scored 37 points, tying a school record with nine 3-pointers, to lead the Bears (26-2, 13-1 Big 12) past the Sooners (19-9, 9-5), who got 25 points each from Danielle Robinson and Aaryn Ellenberg.
At No. 4 Tennessee 80, LSU 60: Former University High of Spokane star Angie Bjorklund scored 17 points, and the Volunteers (28-2, 16-0 SEC) completed their ninth undefeated run through the Southeastern Conference by beating the Tigers (18-12, 8-8).
No. 12 Miami 70 , at Georgia Tech 59: Alex Montgomery, out of Tacoma’s Lincoln High, scored 13 points in her final home game for the Yellow Jackets.
Georgia State fired coach Rod Barnes after four seasons elevating assistant Paul Graham, Washington State’s head coach from 1999-2003, to interim coach. After his fifth straight losing season – and 48-105 record – Dave Calloway resigned under pressure after 14 seasons at Monmouth University in Piscataway, N.J.