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AP: 7fab42bc-648d-478c-b3fd-b1780b0fe236
Michigan State's Keith Appling (11) drives between Louisville defenders Gorgui Dieng, left, and Elisha Justice during the first half of an NCAA men's college basketball tournament West Regional semifinal on Thursday, March 22, 2012, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
PHOENIX -- Louisville's Gorgui Dieng didn't score a point in the second half, but he had his fingerprints all over Rick Pitino's latest NCAA Regional semifinal win.

More accurately, he had his entire palm print on it.

The 6-foot-11 sophomore from Senegal tied a career-high with 7 blocked shots, including 5 in the second half as Louisville shut down Michigan State 57-44 to advance to the West Regional Final Saturday against the winner of the Florida-Marquette semi.

"He was very disruptive coming in," Michigan State senior Draymond Green said. "We knew he averaged three and a half blocks a game, and we're not going to back down from anyone.

"He pulled off some great blocked shots, and that's what he does, that's his strength."

Dieng's fourth block of the night was probably the most pivotal. Leading by 6 with under 14 minutes to go, Dieng blocked a layup attempt by Green which fueled a transition alley-oop dunk by Peyton Siva. Jared Swopshire then stole the inbounds pass and was fouled before sinking a pair of free throws, stretching the Cardinals' lead to 10.

Dieng did make a mark on offense as well, knocking down his first career three-pointer in the first half.

"I was just wide open and I took the shot," Dieng said. "I was wide open and I took it and it went in."

After Dieng made the shot, he looked over at Pitino on the Louisville bench, and both had smiles from ear-to-ear.

"I tell all the guys: you're open, shoot it," Pitino said. "We're not the best offensive shooting team, but we shot 52 percent in the second half against a great team."

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