Third-ranked Louisville won its fourth conference tournament championship in six years by defeating Tulane, 66-51, in Cincinnati. Afterward, Coach Denny Crum saw parallels between this season's team and a Louisville team that won the national championship.
"This team, I think, is very similar to our 1980 championship team," Crum said. "We don't have a superstar like Darrell Griffith, but our players have been very consistent. Somebody always steps in and takes up the slack."
Yesterday, three players reached double figures for Louisville (29-3), which also won the regular-season championship. Charles Jones led Louisville with 15 points.
"We were not as intense as we were yesterday, and I think that is normal," Crum said. "When you play a big rival like Memphis State in a very emotional game (a 71-68 victory for the Cardinals), it is hard to get sky-high the next day. But when we needed to get intense, I think we did."
Elton Webster had 24 points for Tulane (19-11), which has never beaten Louisville in 15 games. Coach Ned Fowler said Louisville is a contender for the national championship and easily was the best team in the Metro Conference this season, but added his team might have won under different circumstances.
"Fatigue hurt my ballclub very badly," he said. "We have some good people, but we don't have the people to play three ball games in a row."
Louisville held an 11-point lead with 3:30 left in the first half before Tulane cut the margin to 29-23 at the half. The Green Wave came within four late in the game, but Louisville pulled away.