In their first NCAA Tournament appearance in two years the Louisville Cardinals got off to a slow start, to say the least. The Cards made just one of their first ten field goal attempts while the Jacksonville State Gamecocks seemingly couldn’t miss early on and got out to an 8-0 lead.
Louisville trailed for the first 13 minutes of the game, but eventually put together a run and never looked back. They closed the half on a 9-4 run and then opened the second half on 10-2 run to make it 48-33. In end, the Cards were too much for the Gamecocks and won the game 78-63.
Four Cardinals scored in double-figures with Mangok Mathiang leading the way with a team high 18 points. Mathiang continues to play his best basketball at the end of his career. The fifth year senior was 8-of-13 from the floor also adding five rebounds and two blocks.
Deng Adel picked up where he left off against Duke, finishing with 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting. Adel is averaging 16.4 points in his last five games. Quentin Snider also chipped in 16 points and added five assists.
For the fourth straight game Donovan Mitchell didn’t shoot a good percentage, but this time around he was still able to make a big impact in the game. Mitchell was just 3-of-15 from the floor, but grabbed a team high 10 rebounds, dished out five assists and collected three steals.
Ray Spalding had a nice game off the bench with 11 points and four rebounds.V.J. King and Anas Mahmoud were both given double-digit minutes, but didn’t make much of an impact in the game.
With the win, Louisville has advanced to the second round to face the Michigan Wolverines who were given the 7th seed in the Midwest Region. Michigan knocked off Oklahoma State in the first round on Friday by a score of 92-91. Tipoff is set for Sunday at noon on CBS.
Nick Coffey is the creator and lead publisher for TheCardinalConnect.com. Along with covering Louisville basketball, football and recruiting, Nick also hosts The Red Zone weekdays from noon – 3:00 PM on Cards Radio 790 KRD.