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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Louisville knocks out Tennessee

Many people believed that Tennessee was more deserving of a one seed than Memphis. While that discussion has been silenced now, the Louisville Cardinals never believed it for a second. Using impressive defense and stifling senior Tennessee star Chris Lofton, the three seed Cardinals upset the Volunteers 79-60.
“One of the keys on defense all year has been changing it up,” Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said. “When you give any good team a steady diet of one defense, it’s not quite as good. We extend our zone almost like a half-court trap, and we don’t give the wings good looks.”
Pitino maintained his 8-0 record in regional semi-finals and will take the Cardinals to the regional championship game against the number one overall seed North Carolina.
Sophomore Earl Clark has been sensational for Louisville. He notched 17 points and 12 rebounds while leading the Cardinals in points, rebounds, steals, and blocks. He’s scored double digits in the past five games, including two double doubles and one nine rebound game. In addition to Clark, Louisville had three other players score double digits, Terrence Williams and Andre McGee each had 13 points and David Padgett had 10 points and eight rebounds.
Louisville destroyed Tennessee at the start of the game but the Vol’s made a furious comeback in the second half to get within a point of the Cardinals care of their own stingy defense which forced 20 turnovers in the game. A 13-5 run by the Cardinals and outstanding foul shooting ensured that Tennessee didn’t threaten again.
“I’ve been coaching a long time and never has the tempo of the game been dictated so much by an opponent,” Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl said. “We usually dictate tempo. We attacked the pressure and we had opportunity to hurt the press, but we just didn’t finish.”
Pearl has done a remarkable job resurrecting the Vol’s basketball program and a set a record for victories this year but he has never been to the Elite Eight.
“This doesn’t take much away from the finest season in the history of Tennessee basketball,” Pearl said. “No team has accomplished the things these guys accomplished this year, and I’m awfully proud of them.”

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