Sports

Cardinals knock off top-seeded Spartans 57-44

March 22, 2012: Louisville's Peyton Siva (3) is trapped by Michigan State defenders, from left, Draymond Green, Brandan Kearney and Travis Trice during the first half of an NCAA men's college basketball tournament West Regional semifinal on Thursday in Phoenix.

March 22, 2012: Louisville's Peyton Siva (3) is trapped by Michigan State defenders, from left, Draymond Green, Brandan Kearney and Travis Trice during the first half of an NCAA men's college basketball tournament West Regional semifinal on Thursday in Phoenix.  (AP)

Chane Behanan scored 15 points and Gorgui Dieng anchored Louisville's stifling defense with seven blocked shots, helping the Cardinals knock off top-seeded Michigan State 57-44 Thursday night in the West Regional semifinals.

Louisville (29-9) smothered the NCAA tournament's best-shooting team with its matchup zone, getting good pressure from its guards up top and some big swats by Dieng, one of the nation's top shot-blockers.

The Cardinals relied on 3-point shooting in the first half and went inside the second to befuddle the Spartans, earning a trip to the West final against Marquette or Florida on Saturday.

Michigan State (29-8) started slow and never got going against Louisville's amoebic defense, shooting 28 percent while being outscored 20-14 inside by the leaner Cardinals.