March 27, 2009

COL BKB: Louisville 103, Arizona 64

Earl Clark highlighted an outstanding shooting performance Friday and top-seeded Louisville stormed into the NCAA Elite Eight by blasting Arizona 103-64.

Louisville, both the regular-season and tournament champion in the Big East Conference, had trouble disposing o Morehead State and Siena in the opening two rounds but the Cardinals had no problem with the Wildcats, rushing to a 21-point advantage at halftime en route to their third 100-point effort in the tournament.

Louisville, the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region, will play Sunday against the winner of Friday's game between Michigan State and Kansas for a berth in the Final Four.

A dozen Cardinals scored Friday, with Clark producing 19 points and nine rebounds. Jerry Smith added 16 and both Terrence Williams and Samardo Samuels had 14.

Louisville shot 57 percent from the field and made 14 attempts from 3-point range.

Arizona, playing in its 25th consecutive NCAA Tournament, received a surprising at-large bid but the Wildcats demonstrated they deserved it by reaching the regional semifinals as a No. 12 seed. They were the only seed lower than a No. 5 to get past the tournament's opening weekend.

The Wildcats were still within seven points with 8:18 to play in the first half, but Louisville closed the period on a 25-11 run to break open the contest.

Arizona was led by 22 points from Chase Budinger.

The other 100-point showings in the tournament thus far have come in North Carolina's 101-58 win over Radford and Connecticut's 103-47 triumph over Chattanooga. Both those games were played on the first day of the tourney.