Padgett, Louisville roll to first-round rout of StanfordMar 15, 2007 - 11:25 PM LEXINGTON, Kentucky (Ticker) -- David Padgett and Louisville proved they are a force to be reckoned with in the NCAA Tournament. Stanford proved that perhaps it did not belong.
Padgett and freshman Edgar Sosa scored 16 points apiece as the sixth-seeded Cardinals cruised to a 78-58 rout of the 11th-seeded Cardinal in the first round of the NCAA Tournament South Region.
It was the eighth victory in the last nine games for Louisville (24-9), which raced to a 35-12 lead 13 minutes into the contest and never looked back.
"The message before the game was, 'Guys, you've got to take more chances in the NCAA Tournament because some teams will come out tight and we can't do that. Don't play tight, play very loose. Be active, be risk- takers, don't be afraid to foul,'" said Louisville coach Rick Pitino, who improved to 10-2 all-time in the first round. "That was the message all week."
Sosa had two 3-pointers and fellow freshman Jerry Smith added one during a span of more than two minutes, pushing the lead to 44-16 with 3:21 left in the first half. Sosa and Smith were two of five players to score at least eight points in the opening 20 minutes.
Stanford (18-13) lost four of its last five games heading into the contest and did not make a case for its surprise at-large bid Thursday, shooting just 30 percent (7-of-23) from the floor to trail, 46-20, at the half.
"It's a tough feeling right now," Cardinal senior forward Fred Washington said. "We had a couple of seniors on this team and this was their last game. I feel really bad for them. No one game is going to define our season. We know we didn't play well, but we know we're a good team."
It was the sixth time this season that Louisville held an opponent to 20 or less points in the opening 20 minutes.
Although it did shoot 50 percent (14-of-28) in the second half, Stanford could get no closer than 19 points in the closing moments - after Louisville cleared the bench.
The Cardinals' full-court pressure played a big role in the lopsided contest, as they grabbed 11 steals and forced the Cardinal into 21 turnovers - one off their season high.
"We created it," Pitino said about the defensive pressure. "We created high-percentage shots so we could put the press on. One thing about the Big East is that it's an extremely physical league."
"They did what they wanted to do very well," Stanford forward Lawrence Hill said. "Their pressure was designed to cause turnovers and it did that."
Padgett shot 7-of-9 to pace five Cardinals in double figures. Derrick Caracter and Earl Clark each scored 12 points and Smith added 10 for Louisville, which will face third-seeded Texas A&M in Saturday's second round.
Freshman center Brook Lopez scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Cardinal, who held a 35-23 edge on the glass.
Overall, the 20-point margin of victory was the biggest between a sixth seed and a No. 11 seed since Kansas beat Evansville, 95-74, in 1999.
- SOUTH REGIONAL
AT LEXINGTON KY
NCAA BB SOUTH REGIONAL
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
STANFORD 20 38 58
LOUISVILLE 46 32 78 FINAL
Mar 15 2:40 PM
- SOUTH REGIONAL
AT LEXINGTON KY
NCAA BB (11) STANFORD 20
(6) LOUISVILLE 46 HALFTIME
Mar 15 1:23 PM
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