ORLANDO, Fla. — Luke Hancock hit two huge 3-pointers in the final 1:19 to help Louisville finally shake free from tenacious Manhattan, 71-64 in the NCAA tournament Thursday night.
The defending national champion Cardinals were down 58-55 with less than 4 minutes to play before coming alive from the 3-point line.
Silky smooth guard Russ Smith, who finished with 18 points, got things going with a game-tying 3 from the wing. Hancock delivered the knockout blows. He stole an inbound pass, got fouled and made both free throws. He hit the first dagger with 1:19 remaining and sank a wide-open look from behind the arc with 28 second left.
Hancock finished with 16 points.
Behind those shots, fourth-seeded Louisville (30-5) advanced to face fifth-seeded Saint Louis on Saturday in the Midwest Region.
Ashton Pankey led 13th-seeded Manhattan (25-8) with 16 points.