Louisville hung its ninth Final Four banner Thursday night and immediately began its pursuit of a higher focus this season: a national title.
Playing their first exhibition, the second-ranked Cardinals beat Pikeville 93-57. Freshman Montrezl Harrell led Louisville with 19 points and 13 rebounds while returning center Gorgui Dieng added 16 points and 12 rebounds.
The Cardinals overpowered the 2010-11 NAIA champions, blocking 10 shots and outscoring the Bears 66-14 in the paint.
Pikeville senior Jamar Briscoe led all scorers with 26 points.
Louisville coach Rick Pitino presented Pikeville guard Elisha Justice his Final Four ring before the game. The former Kentucky Mr. Basketball transferred from Louisville this offseason to be closer to his eastern Kentucky home but did not play due to a left knee injury.
Peyton Siva, the Big East's preseason player of the year, had six assists and joined backcourtmate Russ Smith with 17 points.
Harrell capped a late first-half run with a dunk ...