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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    FINAL: Louisville crushes Arizona 103-64

    UA forward Jamelle Horne, right, is backed down by Louisville center Samardo Samuels in the first half of a Sweet 16 game in Lucas Oil Stadium on Friday evening. The Cardinals beat the Wildcats comfortably, 103-64.
    UA forward Jamelle Horne, right, is backed down by Louisville center Samardo Samuels in the first half of a Sweet 16 game in Lucas Oil Stadium on Friday evening. The Cardinals beat the Wildcats comfortably, 103-64.

    Louisville 103, Arizona 64

    INDIANAPOLIS – The Arizona men’s basketball team’s unthinkable season has come to a close.

    The No. 12-seed Wildcats were smashed by No. 1 Louisville 103-64 in the third round of the NCAA Tournament in Lucas Oil Stadium on Friday evening.

    Even the magic touch of David Bagga couldn’t help Arizona. The walk-on guard scored a 3-pointer with 45.8 seconds left in the game, but by then it was far too late. He was just eating garbage minutes as the Wildcats’ time ran out.

    Louisville head coach Rick Pitino is now 9-0 all time in Sweet 16 games. UA interim head coach Russ Pennell has ended his unpredicted tenure at the helm of the Arizona program with a 2-1 NCAA Tournament record.

    This is the farthest the Wildcats have gone in the Big Dance since the 2004-05 Wildcats went to the Elite Eight.

    Arizona finished its season with a 21-14 record. Louisville advances to the Elite Eight with a 31-5 record.

    The game was virtually over soon after it began.

    In a stadium filled mostly with Louisville fans, the Wildcats struggled to score early on against the Cardinals’ stingy press, which Pennell said is the most similar press to the Wildcats’ defensive scheme that Arizona has seen all season.

    Louisville also dominated under the hoop, throwing down five total dunks and pulling down 18 total rebounds in the first half alone, compared to Arizona’s 14.

    The Cardinals went into the locker room with a commanding lead, 49-28.

    Louisville took its lead into double digits with 7:10 left in the first half when Sosa made a 3-pointer, helping the Cardinals to pull away, 29-17.

    Samardo Samuels put the Cardinals up 36-19 with just less than 5 minutes remaining after Fendi Onobun fouled him. Samuels pump faked under the basket and Onobun rolled over the Louisville center and fell hard on his tailbone.

    True center Alex Jacobson saw the floor for the first time with 2:50 left in the half, after Onobun and Jordan Hill had each collected two fouls.

    Arizona’s lone bright spot on the offense was Chase Budinger, who scored 7 of the Wildcats’ first 9 points in the game and ended the game leading all scorers with 22 points.

    In the second half, Louisville only poured salt into the wound that was Arizona’s game.

    Hill threw up two air-balls in the paint in the opening minutes of the second half. Budinger shot one with a little less than 7 minutes left in the game.

    A 3-pointer by Louisville guard Jerry Smith with 10:25 left in the game launched the Cardinals ahead 77-45.

    The 3-balls continued to rain from the hands of the Cardinals throughout the game.

    Guard Reginald Delk made the Cardinals’ 14th 3-pointer in 28 tries to give his team a 97-58 lead. Two monster jams by forward Jared Swopshire put them over the 100-point mark.

    An unneeded dunk by Louisville guard Kyle Kuric with 4.2 seconds left put the icing on the cake for the Cardinals.

    Read the Arizona Daily Wildcat online and in print on Monday for extended coverage of the Wildcats’ drive to the Sweet 16, as well as a complete season recap.

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