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Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015

A First For Louisville

TBO.com The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 22, 2013 at 12:42 PM

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As the Louisville Cardinals circled around to cut down the nets for the first time, the scoreboard clock still showed one-tenth of a second remaining.

How appropriate: time hasn't run out yet on the most successful tournament run in program history.

Louisville is headed to the Final Four for the first time, after Angel McCoughtry finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds in a 77-60 upset of top-seeded Maryland in the Raleigh Region final Monday night.

Deseree Byrd added 17 points and nine assists and Candyce Bingham had 15 points for the third-seeded Cardinals (33-4).

They never trailed and led by double figures for virtually the entire second half in continuing an improbable march through the bracket that started on LSU's inhospitable home court.

"The players had to get us out of Baton Rouge ... and they did that. I told them, 'If you get that done, we'll get you to the Final Four,'" Coach Jeff Walz said. "They believed in everything we told them."

"I'm dreaming right now," McCoughtry said. Then, she gestured to Byrd and adding, "pinch me, Des."

Marissa Coleman finished with 18 points two nights after scoring a career-high 42 against Vanderbilt and Marah Strickland added 15 the top-seeded Terrapins (31-5), who finally ran out of comebacks. Two nights after rallying from 18 down to beat the Commodores, the Terps turned it over 21 times - a major reason why they were denied their fourth trip to the national semifinals.

Headed there instead is a Cardinals team led by a Baltimore native, McCoughtry, and coached by Walz, a former Maryland assistant.

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