Louisville vs. North Carolina A&T reaction: Cards 'dominated' in March Madness opener

USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals left no doubt on Thursday, laying the wood to North Carolina A&T.

The Louisville Cardinals took care of business on Thursday against the North Carolina A&T Aggies, winning 79-48 in their rivals' building, Rupp Arena.

Louisville was utterly dominant throughout the affair, racing out to a large lead and never looking back. The Cardinals set a new NCAA Tournament record with 20 steals, taking the ball at will from the over-matched Aggies.

Over at our Louisville blog, Card Chronicle, Mike Rutherford wrote about Louisville's flawless victory:

Paced by Russ Smith's 23 points and eight steals, U of L dominated North Carolina A&T in a game they never trailed. Wayne Blackshear chipped in 12 points, while Peyton Siva notched eight assists and four steals. As a team, Louisville recorded 20 steals and turned the Aggies over 25 times.

Smith was also very efficient with his shooting, going 10-for-16 from the field. It's games like this that have many people picking the Cardinals to be cutting down the nets in April.

Now, Louisville moves on to face the Colorado State Rams, who pounded on the SEC's Missouri Tigers, winning 84-72. Colorado State will pose a problem on the glass. The Rams are fourth in the nation in rebounding and showed it against Missouri - the No. 2 rebounding squad - outclassing them on the boards 36-18.

More in College Basketball:

Friday’s March Madness TV guide

March Madness: Thursday's scores, updates, GIFs and more

Printable bracket for March Madness

Chasing Cinderella: Iona's inspiring run

An oral history of Bryce Drew's epic buzzer-beater

Full coverage of March Madness

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