David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Louisville received its first challenge as the No. 1 team in the country (it still feels fantastic typing that) and responded accordingly.
The Cards trailed host Connecticut by as many as 10 in the first half and by six at halftime, but utilized a 32-10 run after the break to roll to their fourth convincing Big East victory.
It was Russ Smith who kept the U of L in the game early, scoring 15 of Louisville's first 24 points while Peyton Siva sat for most of the first half with two fouls. Smith finished with a game-high 23 points, and had his player of the year merits touted by ESPN analyst Jay Williams following the game.
The Cards utilized their size advantage in the game's second 20 minutes, where Chane Behanan scored 14 of his 16 points. Gorgui Dieng again tied his career-high with 16 rebounds for Louisville, which outrebounded Connecticut 36-28 and outscored the Huskies 44-20 in the paint.
U of L's relentless pressure wore down UConn, which turned the ball over 16 times and went nine minutes without a field goal during one stretch in the second half. The Huskies shot just 25.9 percent from the field in the second half after scorching the nets at a 53.8 percent clip in the first.
Louisville notched the impressive victory despite not being able to travel to Hartford until the day of the game. Significant fog canceled the team's scheduled flight on Sunday, and the Cards arrived in Connecticut without enough time to even have a pregame shootaround.
Here's your U of L box score:
We're very good.