INDIANAPOLIS – Louisville coach Rick Pitino opened his postgame press conference with an apology to Arizona for his team’s dunk in the closing seconds to make it 103-64 in the Midwest regional semifinal.
He had nothing else to feel sorry about.
The Cardinals (31-5) authored a simply dominant performance, an outing that had as much to do with their unselfishness and slick passing than the overmatched opponent they encountered.
Louisville is tough enough to defeat when Earl Clark and Terrence Williams play well. When Jerry Smith, Edgar Sosa, Samardo Samuels and Terrence Jennings do as well, the Cardinals are about as close to unstoppable a team as there is nationally.
Loyal readers are no doubt familiar with my infatuation with balanced teams at this time of year. Louisville doesn’t have the requisite four double-digit scorers most national champs need for a title march. The Cardinals do have seven guys averaging at least five points, which none entering tonight’s pummeling at more than 13.9 points.
By the end of the night, only two teams will be left in the tournament with four double-digit scorers: Connecticut and the North Carolina/Gonzaga winner. But if one of those teams doesn’t snip down the nets in Detroit, it will surely be Louisville – and the Cardinals will have nothing to apologize for then, either.