LEXINGTON, Ky. — Louisville players proudly strutted around the court in championship T-shirts and hats, some adorned with a little piece of the net.

Cardinals Coach Jeff Walz brushed off confetti dumped on him during an interview and climbed the ladder to clip the rest of the nylon, happily twirling it to celebrate his top-seeded team’s dominant run through the Lexington regional.

“It’s a great feeling,” Walz said. “I’m going to go home, and my 41/2-year-old and my 21/2-year-old (daughters), all they’re going to talk about is the confetti on the floor. That’s all they care about. To them, if we win, there’s confetti on the floor that I get to play on.”

Louisville’s next quest is collecting another net and more confetti in next weekend’s Final Four in Columbus, Ohio.

Asia Durr scored 18 points, Myisha Hines-Allen added 16 and Louisville earned its first Final Four berth since 2013 with a 76-43 rout of No. 6 seed Oregon State on Sunday.

Playing its first regional final in four years and for the first time in school history as a No. 1 seed, the Cardinals (36-2) thoroughly ran the table. They never trailed in rolling to their 11th consecutive victory.


Louisville outscored the Beavers 28-12 in the third quarter to break the game open and complete its four-game run through the regional by an average margin of victory of 27.5 points. Louisville controlled the paint with a 32-18 scoring edge and got 24 points off 17 turnovers against an Oregon State squad that relies on precise passing.

“If we were able to get stops and go in transition, we were going to be confident,” Hines-Allen said. “Our shots were falling in the second half, and it all came down to defense. If we wanted to win, we had to stop them.”

Even more impressive for Louisville: The Cardinals committed just three turnovers to tie an NCAA tournament record, despite playing a frenetic pace for much of the game.

“That was huge,” said Durr, who made 4 of 9 3-pointers and 7 of 14 shots overall. “We love to sprint the ball up the floor, pass the ball up the floor, so that’s pretty much what we try to do.”

Sam Fuehring had 14 points and Arica Carter added 10 for Louisville, which shot 48 percent. Players celebrated on the court in front of its red-clad followers who traveled just under 80 miles east and hung around to watch them cut down the nets.

The Beavers (26-8) struggled in their bid to add Louisville to their remarkable run of NCAA upsets after previously ousting No. 3 seed Tennessee and No. 2 Baylor. Oregon State outrebounded Louisville 32-28 behind 6-foot-5 Marie Gulich (14 points, eight rebounds), but the Beavers shot 35 percent.


“Hats off to Louisville, they played an outstanding game,” Oregon State Coach Scott Rueck said. “They were on point defensively, kept us off our spots early, never let us get comfortable, forced us into turnovers.”

MISSISSIPPI STATE 89, UCLA 73: Teaira McCowan had 23 points and 21 rebounds, Victoria Vivans added 24 points and the top-seeded Bulldogs beat third-seeded UCLA in the Kansas City Regional final to reach its second straight Final Four.

Morgan William added 17 points and Roshunda Johnson had 12 for the Bulldogs (36-1), who blew a good chunk of an 18-point second-half lead before hanging on to extend their school record for wins in a season.

They’ll meet another No. 1 seed, Louisville, on Friday night.

Jordin Canada led the Bruins (27-8) with 23 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Japreece Dean finished with 16 points, and Monique Billings and Kennedy Burke had 12 apiece, most of them coming when the Bruins were trying to rally from a 50-32 deficit.

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