The no. 1 overall seeded Louisville Cardinals (31-5) took on the No. 12 seeded Oregon Ducks (28-8) Friday night at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. Oregon knew coming into the game that Louisville was an outstanding defensive team; so outstanding that at times it can be suffocating to their opponents. In their first two games of the tournament (against North Carolina A&T and Colorado State) the Cards caused 47 turnovers. In their last 12 games coming into this one, Louisville has held their opponents to under 55 points and 38 percent shooting. So Oregon knew this wasn’t going to be easy. In the first half the Cards put that defense to good use forcing Oregon to take ill-advised shots and just being down right disruptive. Louisville would take an early lead and never look back. Led by Russ Smith who had 16 points on 5-10 shooting, including 5-6 from the free throw line, the Cards would go into the locker room at the half up 45-31.
In the second half it was more of the same; a tenacious defense by a team that has eyes on the championship. Later in the second half Oregon actually cut the Louisville lead to 6 but the Cards proved to be just too much for the Ducks. Russ Smith finished the night with 31 points as Louisville won, 77-69. Louisville will move on in the Midwest regional to the Elite Eight to meet up with the winner of the Michigan State-Duke game that will kickoff at 9:45 pm EDT tonight.