Continued from page 1

“I felt really, really good until we had that flurry of turnovers,” Shockers coach Greg Marshall said. “I didn’t realize it was five in seven possessions, which is certainly big.

“You know, they do that to everyone,” he added glumly. “We were looking really good there for 32 minutes or whatever it was.”

It was almost long enough.

“We’re one of the better pressing teams in the country. They had four turnovers. We were giving them everything but the kitchen sink, and they wouldn’t turn it over,” Pitino recalled.

“What happens in the press, if you play an extremely well-coached team, you may have one run per game. If you’re going against guys that are freshman, not great ball-handlers,” he added, “then you may have three or four runs.”

What Louisville had, to be fair, were more like surges. A 3-pointer from Hancock nudged the Cardinals ahead to 65-60 with 2:06 left and they made just enough free throws to hold off Wichita State.

“You’re elated when you win, so excited to be in a championship game,” Pitino said finally. “But there’s always a part of you that looks at the other team and says, `They played their hearts out.’ There’s always a part of you that really wants to win, but you appreciate your opponent.”

Enough in this case to force Pitino way out of his comfort zone, anyway.

___

Jim Litke is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at jlitke(at)ap.org and follow him at Twitter.com/JimLitke.