--By Jared Anderson
--Cover photo by Roscelle Griffin
--Gallery by Jared Anderson
Louisville welcomed back head coach Jeff Walz and point guard Arica Carter with a commanding 71-50 victory over 8-seed Michigan. The Cards are the first team to punch their ticket to the Sweet Sixteen.
Asia Durr concluded her final game in the KFC Yum! Center with a game-high 24 points, going 9-23 from the field with five three-pointers.
Jazmine Jones, Sam Fuehring, and Dana Evans also finished in the double-digits in scoring with 15 points, 10 points, and 10 points, respectively.
Kylee Shook flirted with a double-double, scoring eight points and hauling in 10 rebounds. Carter added seven rebounds and Bionca Dunham had five as Louisville out-rebounded the Wolverines by one.
15 of Louisville's 35 rebounds where on the offensive glass, which converted into 19 second chance points, a mark the Cards won by a large margin.
Louisville forced 22 turnovers, double the amount they committed themselves, and the 28-12 points of turnovers played well into the Cards' favor.
Overall, Louisville shot 30-70 from the field for 42.9%, a shooting percentage Michigan matched. The Cards hit eight threes with a percentage of 30.9, well below their season average.
The Cards scored the first points of the game and never looked back. They held a 19-4 lead before Michigan went on a 7-0 run to end the first quarter.
Louisville pushed their lead back to double-digits and held a halftime lead 38-26.
Late in the third quarter the lead made its way to 25 points, but a basket before the buzzer cut the score to 55-32.
With 1:56 remaining in the game Walz pulled his three seniors as the game was well out of reach. The trio hugged their way down the bench in front of a standing ovation.
Once the final buzzer sounded the team made its way to mid-court where Carter, Fuehring, and Durr took turns bending over to kiss the Cardinal bird before taking a victory lap.
Louisville advances to the Sweet Sixteen where they will face the winner of 4-Oregon State and 5-Gonzaga. The Cards travel to Albany for the game and a victory could result in a rematch with UConn for a trip to the Final Four.