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Louisville returns to Sweet 16

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ORLANDO, Fla. — It’s not always pretty with Louisville. And sometimes, it’s ugly by design.

The defending national champions shrugged off poor shooting, 19 turnovers and a subpar performance by star Russ Smith and still won handily Saturday to get back to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament for the third straight year.

“Everything’s not going to be sweet or pretty,” Smith said after a 66-51 victory over Saint Louis. “We’re just getting the job done.”

Luke Hancock scored 21 points and the battled-tested Cardinals (31-5) won with defense.

Saint Louis (27-7) missed all 15 of their 3-point shots and turned the ball over 18 times in losing in the third round for the third consecutive year.

“These guys have had a lot of wins under their belt, a lot of great tournament experiences,” said coach Rick Pitino, who huddled with the Cardinals after watching Florida wear down Pittsburgh in Orlando earlier in the day.

“I said, ‘Guys, that’s the exact game you’re going to be in,”’ Pitino said. “`And you’re going to have to be the prettiest team in an ugly game because that’s the way it’s going to be. ... We grinded out a win, and that’s what the NCAA tournament is all about.”

The fourth-seeded Cardinals, who are looking for a third straight trip to the Final Four, move on the Midwest Regional semifinals in Indianapolis against either No. 1 seed Wichita State or Kentucky.

Dwayne Evans led Saint Louis, which has never been to the Sweet 16, with 16 points. Atlantic 10 player of the year Jordair Jett finished with 15.

Chris Jones made a couple of huge shots and scored 11 points for Louisville. Montrezl Harrell put a punctuation mark on the victory with a dunk that gave him 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Pitino improved to 50-16 in the NCAA tournament, including a 16-0 mark in the round of 16. The Cardinals are in the regional semifinals for the 20th time, matching Kansas and trailing only North Carolina (25), Kentucky (24) and Duke (23).

MICHIGAN 79, TEXAS 65

Stauskas had 17 points and eight assists to lead the Wolverines to a win over Texas at Milwaukee in the third round.

Jordan Morgan added 15 points and 10 rebounds as Michigan (27-8) advanced to next week’s Midwest Regional semifinals in Indianapolis. The Wolverines will face the winner of today’s Mercer-Tennessee game in Raleigh, N.C.

Isiah Taylor scored 22 points for Texas on 8-for-22 shooting. The Longhorns (24-11) outrebounded the Wolverines 41-30.

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