Louisville not ready to celebrate just yet

ORLANDO, Fla. – The University of Louisville men's basketball team made it to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 for the third straight season on Saturday with a 66-51 win over Saint Louis. But there was no big celebration for the Cardinals, who are focused on bigger goals. Cardinal Authority has the latest.

The University of Louisville men's basketball team gutted one out on Saturday and then the Cardinals locker room was fairly subdued.

There was not a lot of celebrating, no dancing or screaming about making it to a third consecutive Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament.

And that's because the Cardinals have loftier goals.

"We don't celebrates Sweet 16s in this program" senior Russ Smith said after the 66-51 win over Saint Louis at the Amway Center.

The Cardinals will move on the Midwest Regional semifinals in Indianapolis against either No. 1 seed Wichita State or Kentucky. Two wins in Indianapolis and the Cardinals would be in the Final Four a third straight year.

"We're not in Dallas," Montrezl Harrell said, referring to the site of this year's Final Four. "So what's there to celebrate?"

Perhaps the non-celebration comes from the leadership on this team, including senior Luke Hancock who said the locker room was "kind of weird right now."

"I think everybody's excited," he said. "But we're ready to go onto our next game. This isn't our goal. We're happy to be here and blessed to be here, but this isn't our end-all. We have bigger goals for sure."

U of L coach Rick Pitino is now 50-16 in the NCAA tournament, including a 11-0 mark in the Sweet 16. He is 5-0 in Sweet 16 games at U of L and last year's eight-point win over Oregon was the closest Sweet 16 game that Pitino has coached.

The Cardinals are in the regional semifinals for the 20th time, matching Kansas and trailing only North Carolina (25), Kentucky (24) and Duke (23).

"This is a lot of fun," freshman Terry Rozier said. "But we want to keep going. It's really nothing until you win a national championship."


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