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NC State's tournament run ends with 75-65 loss to Louisville

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The things that had gotten NC State this far--Cat Barber's all-around game, the efficiency from the frontcourt--were absent on Friday night and the Pack fell short against Louisville, 75-65. State led at the half despite it struggles and opened up an early eight-point lead in the second half, but from there, Louisville's superior play made the difference.

Barber was only 3-14 from the field, and while State hit 9-20 from beyond the arc, it was plagued by poor decision making on the offensive end that made things easier on Louisville than they had to be. The one-on-one ball has really killed State at times this year, and it was an obvious problem against the Cardinals.

Trevor Lacey shot the ball well, and Ralston Turner hit four three-pointers. But the Pack got next to nothing from its efforts to score in the paint--Louisville did well to alter some shots, while State was careless on a few occasions. It was Louisville that was making the tough shots in close, and that was a big big part of the difference.

Despite State's issues, this was anybody's game with a handful of minutes left, and I'd take that scenario in a Sweet Sixteen game every single time. This run was great. Enjoyed it a lot. Love the way this team closed out the season. Next year could be special. This still stinks a lot right now.