The Louisville Cardinals are the second team on to the Elite Eight, picking up what looked like a rather easy win over the Michigan State Spartans on Thursday night. Rick Pitino's team extended a 23-18 halftime lead into 57-44 victory to advance in the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket over the Spartans.
Louisville had two player score in double figures as freshman forward Chane Behanan scored 15 points while Russ Smith had 11, but the Cardinals got solid contributions from quite a few of their players. Chris Smith and Jared Swopshire made a combined five of nine three-point attempts while center Gorgui Dieng came up biggest for the Cardinals.
Dieng, a 6-foot-11 center, scored just five points in the game. He filled up the rest of the box score, though, with nine rebounds, three steals and seven magnificent blocks. In a game that will be looked back upon for its defense (if anything, that is), the Senegalese center personified it to a 'T.'
The Spartans were led by senior Draymond Green, as has been the case all season. The big man scored 13 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to counteract his six turnovers. Fellow senior Brandon Wood led Michigan State in scoring with 14 points.