No. 2 Louisville 77, No. 25 Oregon 69

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 29, 2013
Louisville survived its first test. Russ Smith matched his career high with 31 points to lead three Cardinals in double figures, and top-seeded Louisville showed it can win close games, too, beating Oregon 77-69 on Friday night. Kevin Ware added 11 and Gorgui Dieng had 10 points and nine rebounds for Louisville, which has won 13 straight. Coach Rick Pitino improved to 11-0 in the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament. ''We dug ourselves a pretty big hole and weren't able to come back,'' Oregon coach Dana Altman said. ''Louisville is a very good basketball team and very talented. Smith got going to the basket and we just never got him slowed down.'' The 12th-seeded Ducks (28-9) at least made a game of it late. After Louisville went up 66-48 with 9:01 left, Oregon made six straight field goals to close to 70-64 - the closest anyone's been to the Cardinals in a couple of weeks. But Kevin Ware scored on a layup and Chane Behanan threw down a monstrous dunk to put the game out of reach. Still, Oregon is only the second team to be within single digits at the buzzer during Louisville's run. Louisville (32-5) moves on to play the winner of Michigan State-Duke on Sunday, hoping to advance to the Final Four for the second straight year. E.J. Singler's 15 points led five Ducks in double figures, and the Ducks had only 12 turnovers - one fewer than the Cardinals. But Oregon could never recover from its poor first half, when the Ducks were plagued by foul trouble - Johnathan Loyd had three before halftime - and an off night by Damyean Dotson. The freshman was huge in Oregon's victory over Saint Louis, scoring a career-high 23. But he was 0 for 6 in the first half, and didn't make a field goal until midway through the second. He finished with 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting. ''It wasn't there in the first half,'' Arsalan Kazemi said. The Cardinals were barely tested in either of their first two games, beating North Carolina A&T by 31 and Colorado State by 26. They set an NCAA record with 20 steals against A&T, outrebounded one of the country's best rebounding teams in Colorado State and left both teams with ugly shooting lines. But the Cardinals were tested many times Friday night. Peyton Siva spent the last 15:19 of the first half on the bench after picking up his second foul. But even without their floor general, the Cardinals didn't miss a beat thanks to Smith. He hit a 3 to spark a 14-3 run that put Louisville up 24-8, and the game seemed to be all but over. Smith had seven points during the spurt. When he finished the run with a layup, it was Russ Smith 9, Oregon 8. The Ducks weren't going away that easily, though. After Luke Hancock's 3 capped a 12-2 run that put Louisville up 66-48, the Ducks would make six straight field goals. When Dotson knocked down a jumper with 5:12 remaining, it got Oregon within six, the closest it had been since early in the first half. Closest anyone had been to Louisville since the Big East tournament, actually. But part of what makes the Cardinals so imposing is their maturity - and their options, which seem endless. Instead of panicking, the Cardinals regrouped and regained control, and the Ducks never threatened again.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
The most unhealthy breakfasts from across the country
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Relationship between Jeff Fisher, Rams GM is ‘toxic’

Ex-Eagle: Strippers told him that Donovan McNabb hated him

Admiral rips Kaepernick during Pearl Harbor speech

Kevin Love has great tweet about his mucous malfunction

Houston AD seemingly refutes Kiffin rumors with clever tweet

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dana White: Conor McGregor will appear on ‘Game of Thones’

Report: Aroldis Chapman signs with Yankees

Le’Veon Bell thinks Giants were trying to hurt him

White Sox trade Adam Eaton to Nationals for haul of impressive prospects

Looking at NFL injuries that could impact the Super Bowl chase

Report: RG3 to start Sunday barring health setback

Matt Ryan is now Mr. Pick-Two

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 3: News, notes and rumors

Four stinkiest games remaining on the 2016 NFL schedule

Ten young NBA players developing into stars

TailGreater: Tips for bowl travelers

Ranking the single-player modes of the 2017 sports games

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 12/7: The date we got to know Bo

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 2: News, notes and rumors

Ten most intriguing non-NY6 bowl games

Breaking down the NFL playoff picture heading into Week 14

The best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Matt Ryan is now Mr. Pick-Two

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 3: News, notes and rumors

TailGreater: Tips for bowl travelers

Ranking the single-player modes of the 2017 sports games

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 2: News, notes and rumors

The five best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

The five must-have sports games of 2016

Winter Meetings report, Day 1: News, notes and rumors

The five 2016 Heisman finalists: How do they measure up?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker