Louisville wins in debut as No.?1
LAWRENCE, Kan. - Russ Smith scored 23 points, Gorgui Dieng had six points and 16 rebounds and Louisville, playing just hours after it moved to No. 1, used a strong second half to beat Connecticut 73-58 on Monday night. The Cardinals (16-1, 4-0 Big East) won their 11th straight game and like the others they relied on their star backcourt and pressure defense. The only other time Louisville was ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press' Top 25 was the final poll of 2008-09. The Cardinals won the national championship in 1980 and 1986 but the AP does not conduct a post-NCAA tournament poll. Louisville shot 60.7 percent in the second half (17 of 28) and hit an even 50 percent for the game.Omar Calhoun led the Huskies (12-4, 2-2) with 20 points while Shabazz Napier added 12, all but two in the first half. Ryan Boatright had 11 points and he and Napier both had six assists for the Huskies. Connecticut scored the first basket of the second half for a 36-28 lead but that's when Louisville started looking like the No. 1 team in the country. They went on an 8-0 run in which Smith had four points and Peyton Siva two. That was part of a 19-5 burst that gave Louisville a 47-41 lead with 12:18 to play. NO. 4 KANSAS 61, BAYLOR 44 Ben McLemore scored 17 points before leaving in the final minutes with a right ankle injury as Kansas (15-1, 3-0 Big 12) rolled past Baylor (11-5, 3-1). McLemore hit a 3-pointer and then scored an alley-oop dunk off a feed from Elijah Johnson to make it 61-42 with 2:44 remaining. The Jayhawks were back on offense when the freshman appeared to turn his ankle. McLemore eventually stood up and was helped to the Kansas locker room. USC: Kevin O'Neill was fired as coach after 31/2 years during which he failed to turn around a program weighed down by NCAA issues that preceded his arrival and a string of player injuries. O'Neill had a 48-65 record, including 7-10 this season after going 6-26 last year, setting a school record for losses.