The final score shows an eight-point game, and Oregon did do a good job of keeping things respectable after Louisville opened up an early 24-8 lead, but the result was never in doubt as the No. 1 Cardinals cruised into the Elite Eight.
Russ Smith continued to play like the player of the tournament, scoring 31 points on 9-of-16 shooting to go with 14 free throw attempts, three assists, two rebounds, two steals and a block for a Cardinals that has yet to be seriously challenged in this tournament. Louisville has trailed for all of seven minutes in this tourney and hasn’t trailed at all in the second half, outscoring opponents by a combined 65 points through three games while shooting nearly 56 per cent from the field and holding opponents under 45 per cent. That’s a level of domination no team was supposed to establish in this season of parity.
Louisville will face the winner of tonight’s Duke/Michigan State matchup, though if the Cardinals continue to play at this level, it’s hard to envision anyone beating them.
For the Ducks, a solid season that included a Pac-12 tournament title (and a season that deserved much better than a No. 12 seed) comes to an end.