Friday, May 25, 2018
Sports

Louisville sloppy but alive

ORLANDO — It's not always pretty with Louisville. And sometimes, it's ugly by design.

The defending national champions shrugged off poor shooting, 19 turnovers and a subpar performance by star Russ Smith and still won handily Saturday to get to the Sweet 16 for the third straight year.

"Everything's not going to be sweet or pretty," Smith said after a 66-51 victory over St. Louis. "We're just getting the job done."

Luke Hancock scored 21, and the battled-tested Cardinals (31-5) won with defense.

The Billikens (27-7) missed all 15 of their 3-pointers and turned the ball over 18 times in losing in the third round for the third consecutive year.

"These guys have had a lot of wins under their belt, a lot of great tournament experiences," said coach Rick Pitino, who huddled with the Cardinals after watching Florida wear down Pittsburgh in Orlando.

"I said, 'Guys, that's the exact game you're going to be in. And you're going to have to be the prettiest team in an ugly game because that's the way it's going to be.' … We grinded out a win, and that's what the NCAA Tournament is all about."

The fourth-seeded Cardinals, who are looking for a third straight Final Four trip, move on to the Midwest Region semifinals in Indianapolis against No. 1 seed Wichita State or No. 8 Kentucky.

"Obvious, they've got a chance to repeat," St. Louis coach Jim Crews said of Louisville's chances of winning it all again.

Dwayne Evans had 16 points for St. Louis, which has never been to the Sweet 16. Atlantic 10 player of the year Jordair Jett finished with 15.

Chris Jones made a couple of huge shots and scored 11 for Louisville. Montrezl Harrell put a punctuation mark on the victory with a dunk that gave him 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Pitino improved to 50-16 in the tournament. The Cardinals are in the region semifinals for the 20th time, matching Kansas and trailing only North Carolina (25), Kentucky (24) and Duke (23).

MICHIGAN 79, TEXAS 65: Nik Stauskas and the Wolverines figured out the best way to overcome the Longhorns' advantage inside: good shooting.

Stauskas made four of Michigan's 14 3-pointers, and the Wolverines rolled in Milwaukee to advance to the Sweet 16 for the second straight year.

"Huge win for us," coach John Beilein said. "These guys believe, and they did a great job."

Stauskas had 17 points and matched a career high with eight assists as Michigan (27-8) moved on to next week's Midwest Region semifinals. The second-seeded Wolverines will face the winner of today's Mercer-Tennessee game.

Michigan lost to Louisville in the national championship game a year ago. But the Wolve­rines are rolling again thanks to strong outside shooting and Jordan Morgan's work inside.

"What I do like about this team is they've never lost two in a row. They've been resilient," Beilein said. "They get better in both victory and defeat."

Isiah Taylor scored 22 on 8-for-22 shooting for the seventh-seeded Longhorns (24-11), who outrebounded Michigan 41-30.

Michigan made 14 of 28 3-pointers and 17 of 21 free throws in its ninth win in the past 10 games. Morgan had 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Comments
Indianapolis 500: How Danica Patrick changed racing

Indianapolis 500: How Danica Patrick changed racing

Tampa's Carlie Yent was at a racing banquet a few years ago when someone asked her to name the driver who influenced her the most.The answer was easy and obvious: Danica Patrick."She was someone I could look up to," Yent said, "and she was the most i...
Updated: 1 hour ago
After Danica Patrick, why aren’t there more women in auto racing?

After Danica Patrick, why aren’t there more women in auto racing?

If you assumed Danica Patrick's success would lead to a tidal wave of female drivers into racing's top series, you're not alone."I kind of thought the Danica thing would bring out a lot of people, honestly," said Tampa's Megan Rae Meyer, a 21-year-ol...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Calvary Christian’s record win streak ends in state final

Calvary Christian’s record win streak ends in state final

FORT MYERS — One of the most impressive streaks in high school baseball came to an end early Friday morning.Calvary Christian lost the Class 4A state championship 5-1 to Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian at Hammond Stadium in a game that ended ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rays journal: Blake Snell, flying Denard Span finally solve Red Sox

Rays journal: Blake Snell, flying Denard Span finally solve Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG — Having lost two straight and nine of 12 times overall to the Red Sox, the Rays needed two things to go right Thursday:First, a strong start from Blake Snell.Second, some early runs against Rick Porcello from an offense that had...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Thursday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Thursday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Home cooking clearly agrees with OF Denard Span. The 34-year-old Tampa product continues to deliver, producing at the plate, running the bases, making diving catches in the outfield, and Thursday, even going over the short sidewall twice in hot pursu...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Bucs’ Ali Marpet: NFL flip-flopping on anthem policy ‘a little bit odd’

Bucs’ Ali Marpet: NFL flip-flopping on anthem policy ‘a little bit odd’

TAMPA — This much is clear: The National Football League is focused on getting rid of kneeling players.That was the league's announcement Wednesday in requiring players to stand during the national anthem before games or possibly have their tea...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Rays once again will ‘open’ with relievers this weekend

Rays once again will ‘open’ with relievers this weekend

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays weren't kidding about being serious that starting relievers gives them the best chance to win.So much so, they plan to do so again this weekend against the Orioles — in all three games. The plan is for Sergio Rom...
Updated: 9 hours ago
When will the Lightning run out of wait-til-next-years?

When will the Lightning run out of wait-til-next-years?

TAMPA — Disbelief will eventually give way to acceptance.The Lightning isn't there yet.It isn't there yet in a lot of ways.Will it ever be?Just wondering.Really, what guarantees are there?Late Wednesday, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechki...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Fight off the frustration, Lightning, and don’t panic

Fight off the frustration, Lightning, and don’t panic

TAMPA — Don't change a thing.Don't blow it up. Don't fire anyone. Don't overreact.Thursday was not an easy day in Lightning Land. It was the day after the end of a season that ended much too soon. It was a day when bags were packed, questions w...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Front-end loaders will serve as coda to Tampa Bay Lightning’s wild ride

Front-end loaders will serve as coda to Tampa Bay Lightning’s wild ride

TAMPA — Hours before the puck dropped at Amalie Arena for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, the ice crew boss talked about putting off any sign of the end for as long as possible."We don’t want to see the front-end loaders," says Tom Miracle, ...
Published: 05/24/18