Louisville basketball: NCAA notebook

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Cardinal Authority has a few notes from the University of Louisville's opening round victory in the NCAA Tournament. The Cardinals took out North Carolina A&T 79-48 on Thursday night in Rupp Arena and will play Colorado State in the third round on Saturday.

CARDS PAINT RUPP RED

The University of Louisville fans were out in full force on Thursday in Rupp Arena, making the game a home game for the Cardinals.

The U of L contingent had over 90 percent of the fan base.

"Every time I have been in here before it was all blue," Stephan Van Treese said. "It was awesome to see all the red. It really helped our team.

"I really feel like it helped our intensity."

It should be much of the same on Saturday when the Cardinals face Colorado State, a team that downed Missouri 84-72.

BEHANAN MISSES DUNK

It looked like Chane Behanan was going to have a highlight reel dunk early in the first half, getting a break away that was wide-open.

But as he went up, Behanan said he "thought I walked. I did walk." But he didn't hear a whistle, so he tried to finish the dunk, only to see the ball hit off the front of the rim and bound into Wayne Blackshear's hands.

"Chane will be on not-top 10 tomorrow on SportsCenter," teammate Kevin Ware said, noting the team got "a good laugh" out of the miss.

Added Stephan Van Treese: "I expect that more out of me than Chane."

Behanan, one of the top five players among dunks in school history, said he wouldn't take too much joking around from his teammates.

"Nope," he said. "I've dunked on everyone in this room before."

Junior guard Russ Smith said he was surprised to see Behanan miss the dunk, noting he makes eye-catching dunks in practice all the time.

"Nobody expected Chane to miss that dunk," Smith said. "Normally if somebody else was on the break and there was a guying running, I hustle behind because maybe I get a little scrap point. I didn't expect to miss that. Thank God we got it back. It was really funny. I remember I did it last year, I thought we played in. I got some talk from my teammates, too. It was just super funny."

Blackshear did get the rebound and flip it to Behanan, who scored an easy layup. He finished the game with eight points on 3 of 4 from the field.

CARDS DOMINATE ON THE BOARDS

U of L also dominated the Aggies on the boards, winning the rebounding battle 31-20 including 12-5 on the offensive end.

Gorgui Dieng and Stephan Van Treese led the way with seven boards apiece, while Wayne Blackshear finished with five.

Van Treese had a team-high four offensive rebounds, including one monster putback slam late in the second half.

A FEW LEFTOVERS

*The victory marked the largest margin of victory in an NCAA Tournament game since it posted a 39-point defeat over Arizona, winning 103-64 over Arizona on March 27, 2009, in the NCAA Midwest Region semifinal.

*The Cardinals held North Carolina A&T without a field goal for a nine-minute stretch during the first half, the longest drought by an opponent this season.

Louisville's bench scored 22 points.

U of L didn't trail for the third time in the last five games.


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