ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) -- Lionel Chalmers and Romain Sato were determined not to see Xavier's season end in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Chalmers and Sato combined for 27 points in the second half to lead the seventh-seeded Musketeers to an 80-70 comeback triumph over 10th seed Louisville in an Atlanta Region contest.
Louisville held a 53-39 lead after a layup by Otis George with just under 15 1/2 minutes remaining. But after switching to a zone defense, Xavier stormed back, taking the lead for good, 62-60, on a four-point play by Dedrick Finn with 7:55 left.
"He was tuned into the game," Xavier coach Thad Matta said. "His three turned the momentum of the game. With him playing well, we knew we had a chance."
Finn's free throws with 3:14 remaining capped a 36-10 surge and gave Xavier a 75-63 advantage, and Louisville got no closer than eight points thereafter.
"They just dominated us offensively," Cardinals coach Rick Pitino said. "(And) we had no answer for their defense."
Chalmers scored 25 points, Sato had 24 and Anthony Myles collected 15 and 11 rebounds for Xavier (24-10), which has won seven straight games and 14 of 15. The Musketeers meet Mississippi State in the second round.
Taquan Dean scored 19 points and Francisco Garcia and Luke Whitehead added 15 apiece for Louisville (20-10), which began the season 16-1 before fading badly. Both Dean and Garcia fouled out in the final 3:14.
"This team I always felt did the best it could do," Pitino said. "This is a team that unfortunately had injuries. To be 20-10 is about the best we could do."
Louisville held an 18-17 advantage before embarking on a 14-1 run that was capped on a dunk by George with 3:49 left in the first half. The Cardinals took a 42-31 advantage into the break.
"I think this is one of the biggest wins we've had a Xavier University," Matta said. "Louisville came out and played as well as we've seen since the middle of the season. At halftime, I told our guys that this was going to be a player's game. We stepped it up and managed to come through with a win."
The Musketeers shot 61 percent (14-of-23) in the second half to finish at 50 percent (23-of-46). The Cardinals shot just 30 percent after the break (9-of-30) and just under 40 percent overall (25-of-63).
"We settled down a bit and took control of the game the way we wanted to play," Chalmers said. "We got some stops out there and we came up with some nice shots and a win."
"Lionel is the key to this team," Myles said. "He motivates all of us and makes us better, especially me."
Xavier held a commanding 39-26 advantage on the glass and made 25-of-29 free throws while Louisville sank 10-of-13.