The Rams tried to stay in it with Colton Iverson playing more and more like a bully, showing frustration more than aggression. Dieng and Stephan Van Treese kept him out of his game, even on the boards. Colorado State came into the game as the best rebounding team in the country. The Cards even hung with them there.
On the other end, Smith kept driving to the rim. That approach drew more and more fouls from the Rams and he made them pay by sinking his free throws. Iverson’s way of doing things saw him throwing wreckless, but uncalled, elbows. And whenever he did, the crowd expressed their displeasure at the fact that the whistles didn’t blow.
Colorado State did what they could. You could tell by the fact that Pitino didn’t empty his bench like he did against North Carolina A&T, but in the end the Cards had too much. Smith finished with 27 points. Dieng put in 12. Harrell came off the bench for 11.
One of the telling stats was steals. The Cards had 11 while the Rams didn’t get a single one. Louisville also outrebounded them 25-22, a figure thought not possible because of how good Colorado State was all season on the glass.
The Cards will face the winner of the Oregon-St. Louis game in the Sweet 16 in Indianapolis.
Photo: Louisville.com/Tim Girton