Louisville faces No. 16 seed North Carolina A&T in Rupp Arena
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 21, 2013) — March Madness is here, and the University of Louisville Cardinals boast the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship for the second time in school history.
The Aggies won their first game in the NCAA Tournament in school history after posting a 73-72 victory Wednesday night in a First Four matchup. Jeremy Underwood led the Aggies with 19 points off the bench, and Bruce Beckford went 8-of-10 from the field for 16 points in helping lead NC A&T to its first tournament victory in nine tries. Collectively, the Aggies shot 51.9 percent from the field and knocked down eight treys. Liberty, which was led by Davon Marshall’s 22 points, fell just short, as it closed the game on an 11-3 run.
The Aggies, who won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament title, own a 19-16 overall mark, including an 8-8 league record.
With the tournament game included, Lamont Middleton and Adrian Powell are leading the team with 12.4 points per game. Austin Witter ranks first on the team, averaging 7.1 per game, and he also has a team-best 109 blocks. His 3.03 blocks per game ranks eighth nationally. Notably, the Aggies rank 13th nationally in field goal percentage defense.
Louisville, which claimed its third BIG EAST Tournament title this past weekend, rolled past Syracuse behind a 56-point performance in the second half for a 78-61 victory. Peyton Siva earned tournament MVP honors for the second-straight year, becoming just the second player in BIG EAST history to earn the award twice and consecutively. Siva and Gorgui Dieng combined for 20 points and 16 rebounds, while Montrezl Harrell came off the bench and scored 14 of his team-high 20 points in the second half.
The Cardinals, who also captured a share of the regular-season title, currently boast a 29-5 overall record, going 14-4 in league play.
Russ Smith owns a team-best 18.1 points per game, and Dieng is nearly averaging a double-double, with 10 points and 9.9 rebounds per contest. Siva, who also is averaging 10 points, has a team-best 200 assists and ranks 25th nationally in steals per game.
The only meeting between the two schools took place on Dec. 14, 2004, in Freedom Hall, as Larry O’Bannon total 25 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Cardinals to an 85-51 victory. Francisco Garcia had a strong all-around performance, registering 12 points, six rebounds, five blocks, four assists, and three steals. The Aggies were led by Sean Booker’s 19 points, and Steven Koger had 13 points and five boards in the loss.
GAME FACTS — Louisville vs. North Carolina A&T
Date: Thursday, March 21
Time: 6:50 p.m.
Site: Rupp Arena, Lexington, Ky.
Television: The game will be broadcast on TBS, with Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Jim Spanarkel (analyst), and Allie LaForce (analyst) calling the action.
Radio: WHAS 840 AM will air the game, with Paul Rogers (play-by-play) and Bob Valvano (analyst) announcing the game.
Series History: UofL beat North Carolina A&T, 85-51, in Louisville on Dec. 14, 2004, in its only previous meeting.