Blackshear the 'unsung hero' for the Cards

ORLANDO, Fla. - Luke Hancock and Russ Smith hit key shots down the stretch for the University of Louisville in a 71-64 win over Manhattan on Thursday in the NCAA Tournament. But junior Wayne Blackshear came up huge for the Cardinals off the bench. Cardinal Authority has the latest.

Wayne Blackshear didn't hit the game-winning shot and only played 21 minutes of the 71-64 win by Louisville over Manhattan on Thursday night.

But in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, U of L coach Rick Pitino called Blackshear the "unsung hero."

Playing the four with Montrezl Harrell at the five much of the second half, Blackshear gave the Cardinals a physical lift in the win.

"He gave us great minutes, great defense and just did a super job," Pitino said. "He really stepped up and played well for us."

Blackshear was 2 of 3 from the field - both three-point plays at the basket - and hit 2 of 3 free throws for six points. He also had two rebounds and got his hands on a number of balls.

"I made a few mistakes in the first half and coach told me I really had to pay attention," Blackshear said. "I think he saw I was playing hard in the second half.

"I just had to try and do whatever I could to help this team win tonight."

Blackshear, one of the players who has taken the hit for not playing up to his potential this season, said he was "very happy" to have a performance like he did on this stage.

"Chris was able to get into the paint a couple of times and I was able to finish," he said. "I just had to do what I'm supposed to do, or do what coach wants me to do.

"I'll do whatever it takes to win."

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