We're back! The Louisville men's basketball team is back in the NCAA Tournament and they made their presence known with a 78-63 victory over Jacksonville State.
The win sends the Cards into the round of 32 where they will face 7-seed Michigan. The Wolverines won the Big Ten Tournament after having a plane crash the day before, and defeated 10-seed Oklahoma State in the first round.
Louisville's big men made a huge impact on the game. Mangok Mathiang scored 18 points, Deng Adel scored 16 points, and Ray Spalding scored 11 points. U of L scored 44 points in the paint. They out-rebounded the Gamecocks 36-23.
After Jacksonville St. scored the first eight points of the game the Cards went on a run and held a 38-31 halftime lead. They never looked back.
Not everything looked pretty for the 2-seed. Norbertas Giga put up 30 points against one of the nation's top defenses. He pulled in nine rebounds and was a perfect five-for-five behind the 3-point arc.
The guards also had a good day. Donovan Mitchell didn't have his normal huge scoring game- he ended with nine points- but led all players with 10 rebounds. Quentin Snider scored 16 points.
Fans were happy to see the Cards go 11-for-14 at the free throw line, a place where they have struggled all year.
The first game was supposed to be easy for Louisville. They heavily outmatched Jacksonville St., and were expected to dominate. Their game against Michigan (a 2013 National Championship rematch!) will test the Cards much more. The winner gets a trip to the Sweet Sixteen.