The opening round of the NCAA Tournament was a GRIND for the Louisville Cardinals who struggled to advance against the UC Irvine Anteaters who was making its 1st ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
“Survive & Advance”. In the NCAA Tournament, winning is winning. Getting to the next round is the thing…..THE ONLY THING.
The Cards had to deal with a 7-6 Mamadou Ndiaye whose size made Louisville’s bigs look like pre-school children. Mamadou finished with 12 points, 5 rebounds, and just 1 block, but his presence really affected the game more than statistics.
The Cards got outstanding play from Senior Wayne Blackshear who’s 20 shot attempts was a career high. Wayne finished with 19 points (just 2 shy of 1000 for a career) and 7 rebounds. Blackshear”s lay-up over Ndiaye with 43 seconds remaining knotted the game late.
But even bigger than Wayne’s performance was the late game heroics of Quentin Snider who tracked down a missed Luke Nelson jumper into the corner where Will Davis II fouled him while chasing the same loose rebound. Davis’ momentum carried into Snider and Q went to the line with a 1 & 1. 8 days ago in the ACC Tournament, Quentin Snider missed two crucial free throws vs. North Carolina…..vs. UC Irvine in the NCAA Tournament he nailed them both. Snider finished the game with a career high 16 points on 6-11 shooting with 5 rebounds and 2 assists. Great game.
There was still time remaining following Snider’s Free Throws. With 8.7 seconds, Louisville founds itself with just 4 fouls……2 to give. And so Louisville played the burn clock and not allow a shot strategy. First Quentin Snider with less than 6 seconds…and then Terry Rozier attempted to foul…instead Alex Young turned the ball over and a loose ball ended the game.
Louisville will now play the Northern Iowa Panthers on Sunday with time and television to be announced later tonight.