Hancock’s father’s illness may have been the most poignant, untold story of this, a championship run dominated by news of Ware’s snapped tibia, a gruesome injury suffered in the regional final that gave all the Cardinals a rallying point.
As for Hancock himself — well, he may not have been the best-known Cardinal coming in, but he’ll never have a problem getting a free drink in Louisville when he heads back there.
He was Plan B for Pitino, whose best scorer, Smith, went 3 for 16 in the final and 9 for 33 for the Final Four. Hancock’s stats: 5 of 6 in the final and 11 of 15 for the tournament. Talk about making the most of your touches.
After Hancock shot the Cardinals back within contact in the first half, Smith, Peyton Siva and Chane Behanan started scoring, slowly building a Louisville lead.
Then it was Hancock with what was essentially the knockout blow — a 3-pointer with 3:27 left that put Louisville up by double digits for the first time all night.