Cardinals guard has big game on day his prep coach died

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Louisville's Gorgui Dieng (left) and Russ Smith try to trap Villanova's Mouphtaou Yarou during the second half. Smith had 28 points in the Big East quarterfinal win.   FRANK FRANKLIN II/ASSOCIATED PRESS
FRANK FRANKLIN II/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Louisville's Gorgui Dieng (left) and Russ Smith try to trap Villanova's Mouphtaou Yarou during the second half. Smith had 28 points in the Big East quarterfinal win.

NEW YORK — Russ Smith scored 28 points, leading No. 4 Louisville into the Big East Tournament semifinals with a 74-55 victory over Villanova on Thursday night only hours after the death of his esteemed high school coach.

Smith and the defending tournament champion Cardinals (27-5) harassed Villanova (20-13) into 25 turnovers.

Smith was coached in high school by Jack Curran, who spent more than a half century at Archbishop Molloy and was among the nation’s winningest prep coaches in basketball and baseball. Curran died at 83.

NO. 5 GEORGETOWN 62, CINCINNATI 43

In New York, Otto Porter Jr. scored 18 points and Georgetown (25-5) advanced to the Big East Tournament semifinals, recovering from a mid-game hiccup to beat Cincinnati (22-11).

Markel Starks had 14 points and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera added 13 off the bench, including a tiebreaking 3-pointer that sparked a game-turning run for the top-seeded Hoyas.

Georgetown squandered an early 16-point cushion and fell behind briefly in the second half before clamping down with its trademark defense to pull away.

NO. 6 MICHIGAN 83, PENN STATE 66

In Chicago, Trey Burke scored 21 points and Michigan (26-6) beat Penn State (10-21) in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament, avenging a shocking loss to the Nittany Lions during the regular season.

Tim Hardaway Jr. and Nik Stauskas each had 15 points for the Wolverines.

NO. 7 KANSAS 91, TEXAS TECH 63

In Kansas City, Mo., Ben McLemore scored 24 points to lead Kansas (27-5) to a rout of Texas Tech (11-20), setting up an intriguing date with Iowa State in the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament.

The regular-season co-champion Jayhawks needed overtime to beat Iowa State in both of their regular-season games.

NO. 11 KANSAS STATE 66, TEXAS 49

In Kansas City, Mo., Rodney McGruder scored 24 points and sparked an 11-0 run in the second half, lifting Kansas State (26-6) past Texas (16-17) in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament.

McGruder also had a team-leading seven rebounds as the Wildcats whipped the Longhorns for the third time this season.

NO. 24 NOTRE DAME 73, NO. 12 MARQUETTE 65

In New York, Pat Connaughton scored 18 points on six 3-pointers and Jack Cooley had two big offensive rebounds in Notre Dame’s game-changing run as the Fighting Irish (25-8) beat Marquette (23-8) to reach the Big East Tournament semifinals for the fourth consecutive year.

NO. 19 SYRACUSE 62, NO. 17 PITTSBURGH 59

In New York, James Southerland had a second consecutive great effort from 3-point range and Michael Carter-Williams scored Syracuse’s last seven points as the Orange (25-8) held off Pittsburgh (24-8) in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament.

Southerland had 20 points, going 6 for 6 on 3s. Carter-Williams had 11 points and seven assists for the Orange, who play Georgetown tonight.

NO. 18 ARIZONA 79, COLORADO 69

In Las Vegas, Nick Johnson had 18 points, helping Arizona (25-6) beat Colorado (21-11) in the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals.

NO. 20 MEMPHIS 81, TULANE 68

In Tulsa, Okla., Chris Crawford set career-highs with 24 points and six 3-pointers, Adonis Thomas scored 17 points and Memphis (28-4) beat Tulane (19-14) in the quarterfinals of the Conference USA Tournament.

NO. 21 UCLA 80, ARIZONA STATE 75

In Las Vegas, Shabazz Muhammad scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half, Travis Wear hit a jumper with 11 seconds left and UCLA (24-8) rallied from a 15-point deficit to beat Arizona State (21-12) in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament.


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