Russ Smith, Louisville sprint past Oregon and into Elite Eight

And you thought Rick Pitino might lose in the Sweet 16?

Please. That’s Russidiculous.

Behind 31 points from Russ Smith, Louisville’s enigmatic yet electric guard whose Russidiculous nickname was passed onto one of Pitino’s horses, the top-seeded Cardinals rolled over No. 12 Oregon, 77-69, keeping Pitino’s Sweet 16 record perfect at 11-0.

The Pacific-12-champion Ducks justified the outrage over their low seeding with wins against Oklahoma State and Saint Louis, but were no match for the relentless pace of the NCAA tournament’s odds-on favorite. Louisville shot 53.8 percent from the field — Smith was 9 for 16 and made 12 free throws — and an absurd 61.5 percent on two-pointers. It turned into a track meet early, and Oregon didn’t have the legs to keep up, falling behind by 14 points at intermission.


In the brutal Midwest Region at Indianapolis’s Lucas Oil Stadium, Louisville advances to face the winner of No. 2 Duke and No. 3 Michigan State. That game tips off at 9:58 p.m. Friday night.

(GIF h/t BigLeadSports)

MUCH MORE NCAA TOURNAMENT COVERAGE

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Jenkins: Florida Gulf Coast’s run a result of fun and fundamentals

FGCU Eagles stay loose and stick to their guns

Embrace of multipurpose arenas comes at a price

Boswell: How to fix Georgetown in March

A viewers guide to the Sweet 16

NCAA women’s tournament bracket

Photos: Scenes from the tournament

Obama picks his Final Four

Interactive bracket and NCAA tournament history database

The Bracket Challenge contest (Round-by-round)

Alex Prewitt covers the Washington Capitals. Follow him on Twitter @alex_prewitt or email him at alex.prewitt@washpost.com.

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Alex Prewitt · March 29, 2013