LEXINGTON, Ky. - A hostile crowd. A big shot. A season on the line.
All in a day's work for Acie Law.
The Texas A&M point guard whose cool demeanor earned him the nickname "Captain Clutch" did it again. Law took over late and led the Aggies past Louisville 72-69 Saturday in the second round of the NCAA South Regional.
The third-seeded Aggies (27-6) reached the round of 16 for the first time in 27 years, surviving a raucous Rupp Arena crowd.
Rick Pitino's Cardinals had their chances, too. Especially Edgar Sosa. He scored 31 points but, after going 15-for-15 from the foul line, missed two free throws with 30 seconds left and Louisville trailing by a point.
The sixth-seeded Cardinals (24-10) caught a break when Texas A&M's Joseph Jones missed two free throws at the other end. Sosa got another chance, but hit the back of the rim on a long 3-point attempt.
Law made two free throws with 1.7 seconds to go, giving him 26 points.
Sosa's halfcourt heave bounced off the top of the backboard at the buzzer, setting off a jubilant celebration for the Aggies.
In the end, Law and the Aggies were simply too tough, too poised, too ready to make the next step under third-year coach Billy Gillispie, who has turned the Aggies from a Big 12 also-ran into a rising national power.
Louisville did its best to frustrate the Aggies with full-court pressure, but Texas A&M handled it easily even with Law frequently bouncing from the bench to the floor after picking up his second foul about halfway through the first half.