RickPitino and the Louisville Cardinals are a #1 seed and the consensustournament favorite. Beating lowly North Carolina A&T which barelygot past sub .500 Liberty should be easy.
Fortunately for the Cardinals and those of us that picked them to win the title, it was breeze. Louisville dominated 79-48.
Juniorguard Russ Smith, who averages 18.1 ppg, turned in a great performance,dropping 23 points in the tournament opener for the Cardinals.
Whilethe victory was expected, the manner of the victory is on par with whatwe would expect from Louisville at this stage in the tournament and itcertainly did not deter from their frontrunner status.
Louisvillewill face their first test of the tournament when they face the winnerof Colorado State-Missouri on Saturday. However, it is unlikely thateither team will provide much competition. The winner of Oregon-SaintLouis should prove to be more of a challenge.