The ACC Tournament continued for the Cards, and the competition didn’t get any easier as they faced North Carolina in the quarterfinals.
Louisville was trodden under the Tar Heeled juggernaut and lost 83-70.
This was the third time the two squads had faced off this season. They split regular season series, each winning handily in the others’ arena. The Tar Heels were a dark horse for a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament, and Louisville was looking for the highest seed possible.
The teams stayed close for the first few minutes, before North Carolina went on several little runs, scoring five or more points for every one of Louisville’s and gradually increased their lead as the half went on.
The Cards were down 13 before going on a 12-0 run to get within one point with just over five minutes to go in the half, thanks mainly to Darius Perry and Jordan Nwora.
Louisville couldn’t regain the lead, however, and the Tar Heels increased it as the first 20 minutes wound down and went into halftime up 45-35.
Dwayne Sutton had 11 points in the first half.
As the second half began, North Carolina got deficit back up to 13 points before Louisville was able to knock it back down to single digits.
The rest of the game unfolded in much the same way. The Cards would string together a few buckets and whittle the lead down, only to have the Tar Heels shoot it back up to over ten points.
A 11-0 run by Carolina pushed their lead up 18 points with just under five minutes left, which proved to be the death knell for the Cards.
Louisville was beat in almost every statistical category including rebounds 44-35, points in the paint 40-26 and fast break points 27-15.
Dwayne Sutton led the team with 14 points on 5-10 shooting. He also had six rebounds and four assists. Perry, Malik Williams and Steven Enoch also scored in double figures.
Williams had a double-double for the game, with ten points and 13 rebounds.
Louisville falls to 20-13 on the season. North Carolina moves to 27-5.
The Cards run in the ACC Tournament is over, and now they await Sunday and their seeding for the NCAA Tournament.<