Lexington,KY – Except for a lone section of green Colorado State fans and theushers in Kentucky blue, virtually every fan in Rupp arena was clad inred and on their feet, cheering for Wildcats’ rival Louisville as theydefeated the Rams 82-56
RussSmith drained shots from anywhere in rupp arena in starting 6 of 9(including 4 of 5 on three-pointers), and Louisville slapped on thepress after every basket to force 10 first half turnovers and giveLouisville a 45-31 lead by halftime.
Smithshowed why on many nights he is probably the best, and fastest playerin the country. Teammate Peyton Siva also drove to the rim at will toshow why many called this the beat backcourt in the country and whyLouisville is the overall one seed and consensus favorite.
Smith dominated the contest, scoring 27, while Siva dropped 10 points for the Cardinals against the 8th seed.
OftenSiva and the Cardinals have let opponents keep it close beforeadjusting their press to destroy them in the second half, but Saturdaythey took over early against a Colorado state team that proved veryworthy when they blew out Missouri in the previous game.
TheRams hoped the best rebounding margin in the country would let themmuscle Louisville inside, but managed only a 12-11 rebounding edge bythe half, and the game was basically over.
Louisville’spress Saturday was a suffocating as it was last year when th killedheavily favored Michigan state to make a surprise trip to the FinalFour.
Thisyear, the Cardinals are preparing to face off against the winner ofSaint Louis-Oregon, and, if they win, they could face a rematch againstMichigan State in the Elite Eight. While Louisville is the popularnational championship pick, the Midwest bracket they are in isconsidered the toughest in the tournament.