Louisville used a stingy defense to create havoc for the Austin Peay Governors for nearly 40 minutes to defeat the OVC Champions 86-64.
The victory is the Cardinals first NCAA Tournament win since the 1996-97 team that reached the Elite Eight.
Austin Peay appeared ready to battle the Cardinals tight as they hung close to 4th-seeded Louisville through the game's first ten minutes. With 9:48 remaining in the first half Louisville held a one point lead at 20-19.
Rick Pitino then asked the Cardinals to utilize its full court press which helped Louisville go on a 10-0 run while forcing four consecutive turnovers.
The margain remained similar through the remainder of the first half as Louisville took a 45-33 lead into the locker room at the break.
Austin Peay pulled within nine at 49-40 following a layup by Josh Lewis at the 16:40 mark, but Louisville responded and took complete control of the game.
Louisville was led by junior Luke Whitehead's fifth consecutive double-double, scoring 20 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Senior Reece Gaines added 18 points, 12 of which came from behind the 3-point arc.
Louisville received a scare late in the first when Conference USA Freshman of the Year Francisco Garcia lay on the floor for a few minutes injured and was eventually assisted off the floor and into the locker room. He returned to the bench and the game early in the second half. He finished the game with 6 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals.
LOUISVILLE BOX SCORE
AUSTIN PEAY BOXSCORE