Sunday, March 27, 2011

Morehead State stuns Louisville, Peyton Siva

Former Franklin High star Peyton Siva, a sophomore guard for Louisville, had a tough game in upset loss to Morehead State.

By Bud Withers

Seattle Times staff reporter
Peyton Siva

DENVER — Peyton Siva sat by himself in a corner of a stunned Louisville locker room. He seemed to know he would have a long time, a whole offseason, to shoulder what had just unfolded here at the Pepsi Center.

Siva's fourth-seeded Louisville team was ambushed Thursday by in-state Kentucky little brother Morehead State, 62-61, the first big upset of the NCAA men's basketball tournament. It happened on a three-pointer right in Siva's grille with 4.2 seconds left by Morehead's senior guard, Demonte Harper, who had missed all of his previous five treys.

"I played horribly," said Siva, the sophomore from Franklin High. "I really didn't show up today."

But the 13th-seeded Eagles (25-9) did. They used the rebounding dominance of the nation's leader, Kenneth Faried (17 boards), and the perimeter shooting of guard Terrance Hill (23 points) to send Louisville (25-10) packing.

"I believed in myself," said Harper, recalling his shot. "And my teammates and coaching staff believed in me."

Reaction was extreme on both sides.

"It's without question the biggest win in the history of the program," said Morehead coach Donnie Tyndall.

Meanwhile, Louisville coach Rick Pitino said, "This is as tough a loss as I've had in coaching, and I've been coaching a long time — after (today), maybe too long."

Louisville started atrociously, as Siva made three turnovers before the Cardinals scored.

But Louisville warmed up, taking a 48-41 lead in the second half, only to see Morehead's 16-4 run reclaim a five-point lead. Siva then had his best stretch with three assists in a 9-0 Louisville run for a 61-57 lead.

But it was left to Morehead, down 61-59 with the ball and half a minute left, to make the pivotal decision. Tyndall said when he couldn't sleep Thursday morning at 2:30, he decided his team wouldn't be playing for the tie in such a situation.

Harper stood, dribbling, above the circle, took a bold step forward to back Siva off, then drained his three.

"Bad defense on my part," said Siva. "I should have got into him."

Louisville had a final stab, and it put the ball in Siva's hands. But Tyndall decided to trap him, and Siva, near the midcourt line, had to fling the ball to the left wing to guard Mike Marra. He rose to shoot, and the athletic Faried came to challenge him. There appeared to be considerable contact, but no call, and it was done.

"I thought he got fouled," Siva said. "It's a tough way to lose."

Said Marra, "You can't really expect the ref to make a call. I'm not really mad about it."

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