Chris Smith scored 15 points, and Louisville withstood a closing run by Cincinnati for a 50-44 victory Saturday night that gave the Cardinals their second Big East Tournament championship.
Kyle Kuric added 13 points for seventh-seeded Louisville (26-9), which was in the championship for the third time. The Cardinals won the title in 2009 and lost to Connecticut in last year's championship game.
Cashmere Wright had 16 points for the fourth-seeded Bearcats (24-10), who were in the title game for the first time.
Louisville looked to be in control when Smith hit a three-pointer that gave the Cardinals a 44-28 lead with 8:27 to play. But Wright had nine points in a 16-4 run that brought the Bearcats within 48-44 with 2:35 to play.
Wesleyan pulls off upset
Kentucky Wesleyan fought back from an early 13-point deficit to beat No. 6 Southern Indiana 64-58 in the second round of the NCAA Division II tournament at Bellarmine on Saturday.
Anthony Young led the No. 18 Panthers (22-7) with 18 points and seven rebounds, Brandon Johnson added 13 points, and Marseilles Stewart scored 11.
The Screaming Eagles ran out to a 15-2 lead, but Wesleyan cut the lead to 32-29 at the half, making eight of 10 foul shots in the last 4:30.
Next up for Wesleyan is the winner of Sunday's game between Bellarmine and Findlay.
Findlay edges NKU
Findlay jumped out to a 10-0 lead and never trailed, and No. 11 Northern Kentucky missed out on two chances to win it late, falling 50-49 Saturday in the NCAA Division II tournament at Bellarmine.
Findlay guard Aaron Robinson stole the ball with under 10 seconds to go, and the Norse were forced to foul. Jake Heagen missed both free throws with four seconds left, but NKU couldn't get off a shot at the end.
Ethan Faulkner was the only Northern Kentucky player in double figures with 24 points, and the Norse finished the season 23-7.
Bellarmine holds on
Jeremy Kendle scored 23, and Luke Sprague scored all 19 of his points in the first half as No. 4 Bellarmine held off Lewis 66-57 at home in the second round of the NCAA Division II tournament.
Sprague missed the second half because of an injury, but he shot 7-for-7, including five threes, and helped the defending champions jump out to a 13-point halftime lead.
The Knights extended the lead to 57-37 with 10:31 to play, but Lewis snapped out of its shooting funk and went on an 18-4 run to close within six with 2:50 left. But that was as close as the Flyers could get.
Bellarmine will play Findlay on Sunday at 7:30 p.m.
Kentucky Christian wins NCCAA championship
Monica Stevens had 17 points and eight rebounds to lead Kentucky Christian to the NCCAA Division II championship with a 61-41 victory over Maranatha in Circleville, Ohio Saturday. Tanya Bowens, a sophomore from Louisa, added 13 points and five assists, and the Lady Knights pulled away in the second half.