On Sunday in Seattle the Louisville Cardinals advanced to its 21st (28th technically) Sweet 16 over the Northern Iowa Panthers. The Sweet 16 appearance is the 4th consecutive for the Louisville program, but also for Senior Forward Wayne Blackshear who is now the only Cardinal ever to appear in 4 consecutive Sweet 16s. Milt Wagner appeared in 4, but not consecutively.
For the game, Louisville started out slowly before building a 9 points halftime lead. The Cards were led by Sophomore Guard Terry Rozier, who was able to get past his defender and into the lane at will. And for the first time in a long time, Terry couldn”t miss.
But the Cards had to work through some 1st half foul trouble and Rick Pitino had to play deep into his bench, including the much anticipated pairing of Montrezl Harrell and Jaylen Johnson together. Harrell would take a major shot to the face off of a blocked shot against Seth Tuttle. But Louisville was undeterred.
When Louisville needed a boost, the Cards often looked to Rozier….but also got it from Quentin Snider who has really blossomed since inheriting his starting role following the dismissal of Chris Jones. Snider was CLUTCH for UofL and was the perfect complement to Terry Rozier.
Louisville gained its lead in the 1st half and never turned back. There were some tense moments, including when Northern Iowa pulled to within 6 points with 4:28 remaining. But when a turnover created a fast break for the Panthers, it was Wayne Blackshear who hustled back to block the layup. What would have been 4, instead remained a 6 point lead and a DUNK by Montrezl Harrell pushed the lead back to 8.
Louisville didn’t look back and advanced to the Sweet 16 where the Cards will play North Carolina State in Syracuse, NY on Friday at 7:37 on TBS. TheCrunchZone.com will be in Syracuse to follow the Cards.