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ATLANTA – Louisville already had the bigger names, the better team and some unfinished business after coming up short in last year's Final Four.
All Wichita State had was the cute-and-cuddly underdog angle. Now the Shockers don't even have that.
The Cardinals are not only favored in Saturday's national semifinal, they are the public's favorite.
Kevin Ware became an instant sensation after he broke his leg in hideous fashion last weekend against Duke yet pulled himself together to encourage his teammates. Having him at the Final Four has given the top-seeded Cardinals (33-5) added motivation to claim the title that eluded them last year. Wayne Blackshear says Ware's injury is "just making us play harder."
They'll have to, because Wichita State is no fluke. The Shockers (30-8) are big and athletic, and they can shoot 3s better than just about anyone. Just ask Pittsburgh. Or No. 1-seeded Gonzaga, which was done before the first weekend of the tournament.
Or Ohio State, a fashionable pick for a third straight Final Four until the Shockers sent them packing.