Louisville made easy work of its first opponent as the No. 2 seed Cardinals ran past No. 15 seed Jacksonville State, 78-63, in a Friday first-round game in the Midwest Region.
The Cardinals (25-8) were never seriously threatened on Friday but the Gamecocks also didn’t go away very easily.
Mangok Mathiang led Louisville with 18 points while Deng Adel and Quentin Snider both had 16 points each. Raymond Spaulding also finished in double-figures for the Cardinals with 11 points. Even with sophomore guard Donovan Mitchell having an off-night by only going 3-for-15 from the field, Louisville was able to win by double-figures because of their balanced scoring.
Mitchell still finished with a respectable line of nine points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Jacksonville State (20-15) was led by Norbertas Giga as he finished with 30 points on 5-for-5 three-point shooting. Giga was 11-for-13 from the field, but he didn’t have enough help on the offensive end as Malcolm Drumwright (12 points) and Greg Tucker (11 points) were the only other double-figure scorers.
Louisville advances to face red-hot No. 7 seed Michigan on Sunday in Indianapolis after the Wolverines beat Oklahoma State earlier in the day.. This one should be riveting for a second-round matchup as the Wolverines are one of the hottest teams in the country after winning the Big Ten Tournament. The matchup of guards between Donovan Mitchell and Quentin Snider against Derrick Walton Jr. and Zak Irvin should be a ton of fun to watch.