No. 4 Louisville 74, Villanova 55. With AP Photos. By MIKE FITZPATRICK AP Sports Writer Never mind making shots. Villanova had a hard enough time hanging onto the ball against Louisville's dynamic defense.
Russ Smith scored 28 points in a bittersweet homecoming, leading No. 4 Louisville into the Big East tournament semifinals with a 74-55 victory over the Wildcats on Thursday night only hours after the death of his esteemed high school coach.
The defending champion Cardinals (27-5) harassed Villanova into 25 turnovers that led to 27 points.
''We couldn't get the ball over halfcourt,'' coach Jay Wright said. ''Their guards were in us, man. They did a heck of a job. That takes a lot of effort. They were very, very good.''
JayVaughn Pinkston had 21 points for the seventh-seeded Wildcats (20-13), confident they'll receive an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament Sunday thanks to a string of high-profile wins against top-notch opponents. Moup...