Louisville NCAA Rewind: March 27th
With the 2020 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament cancelled, Louisville Report will go back in time to recap all of the University of Louisville men's basketball's NCAA Tournament games from each date in March and early April. Special thanks to Sports-Reference.com for boxscores and the Courier-Journal for newspaper archives.
Louisville's March 27th NCAA Tournament Record: 3-1
1982: Georgetown defeats Louisville 50-46
In front of a then-record 61,612 fans, the top-seeded Hoyas and third-seeded Cardinals took part in a defensive slugfest at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, with Georgetown doing just enough to squeak past Louisville and head to the national championship game.
As far as Final Four games go, this was not one of the prettier ones to ever take place. Both Louisville & Georgetown committed 18 turnovers, with the Cardinals shooting just 39.6% from the field and the Hoyas at 43.9%.
"I didn't think turnovers would beat us," Louisville head coach Denny Crum said after the loss. "I felt we would handle the ball better than that."
Even with Georgetown not making a single field goal in the final 10 minutes and 15 seconds of the game, free throws ultimately proved to be the difference. While the Cards made 1 more field goal than the Hoyas, Georgetown sunk 6 more foul shots than Louisville.
Lancaster Gordon would be the only double digit scorer for Louisville with 10 points and a team-high 6 board. Georgetown's Eric Smith & Sleepy Floyd combined for 27 points, while future Naismith Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing had a game-high 10 rebounds.
2008: Louisville defeats Tennessee 79-60
With a date against top-seeded North Carolina on the line, the No. 3 seeded Cardinals throttled the No. 2 seeded Volunteers behind a suffocating defensive showcase and a gutsy performance off the bench. The victory moved UofL into the Elite Eight, and head coach Rick Pitino to 8-0 in the Sweet 16.
In the early goings, the rout had a chance to be even more noteworthy than the final score indicate. Just 11:01 into the game, Louisville already had taken a 24-8 lead and forced UT coach Bruce Pearl to call a timeout.
While the Vols were able to chip into the lead and make it a 7 point Cardinals advantage by halftime, it was the same song & once for Louisville in the latter half. Tennessee had forced the Cards to cough it up 14 times in the first half alone, but offensive adjustments led to only 5 UofL turnovers in the latter half and a 52.0% shooting percentage for the game while UT could only muster 33.9%.
Four of Louisville starters finished in double figures, but it was Earl Clark who came off the bench that was the biggest star in the game. He finished with a game high 17 points & 12 rebounds on 7-10 shooting and 3-4 at the free throw line.
2009: Louisville defeats Arizona 103-64
In Louisville's highest-scoring game ever in the NCAA Tournament, the top-seeded Cardinals thrashed the twelfth-seeded Wildcats at Lucas Oil Stadium for the school's first back-to-back Elite Eight appearances since 1982 & 1983.
Beginning with a three pointer from Earl Clark, Louisville went wire-to-wire with Arizona and seemingly did everything thing right on both ends of the floor. The Cards shot 57.6% from the field, hit 14 of their 29 three point attempts, missed just 1 free throw out of their 14 tries, assisted on 29 of their 38 field goals, and won the rebounding battle 33-28.
On top of the fact that the Cards were firing on all cylinders from an offensive standpoint, their defense made sure that Arizona stood absolutely no chance. The Wildcats shot just 38.1%, connected on just 7 of their 24 three pointers, and turned it over 5 more times than Louisville.
When everything was said and done, five different Louisville players finished with double figures. Earl Clark had a team-high 19 points & 9 rebounds, while Terrence Williams & Edgar Sosa both chimed in with 6 assists.
2015: Louisville defeats NC State 75-65
Avenging an earlier loss to the Wolfpack just one month prior, the No. 4 seeded Cardinals eighth-seeded NC State to advance to their 14th (and most recent) Elite Eight in school history and their fifth over an eight year span.
The game was fairly competitive in the first half of play from the Carrier Dome. While Louisville shot 50.0% from the field and NC State shot only 35.5%, the Wolfpack made those shots count as five of them came from beyond the arc, allowing them to take a 2 point lead over the Cards at halftime.
It continued to be back-and-forth until around halfway through second half. With Wayne Blackshear heading to the bench at the 8:31 mark because of foul trouble, an unlikely hero in Anton Gill stepped up. A pair of runner and a three pointer helped give the Cards the momentum they needed to close out the game strong.
In the end Louisville had four players finish in double figures, led by Montrezl Harrell's 24 points. His 4 assists also tied a career high, with guard Terry Rozier's 14 rebounds also tying a career high.
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