Rick Pitino’s Louisville Cardinals continued to improve their positioning for a number one seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament by taking out the UConn Huskies, 71-61, in the inaugural American Athletic Conference tournament championship game.
The Cardinals (29-5) have won three straight league tournament titles, taking the last two in the old Big East. Next season Louisville will be moving to the Atlantic Coast Conference, and could possibly add a third conference title in as many years.
Louisville forward Montrezl Harrell led all scorers in the game with 22 points, adding 11 rebounds and three blocks. Russ Smith had 19 points and five steals for Louisville, and Chris Jones added 11 points and four boards.
UConn (26-8) was led by junior DeAndre Daniels, who had 17 points, 10 rebounds and three assists. They came into the AAC tournament championship game hoping to clinch their eighth overall tournament title.
The victory clinched Louisville’s 19th overall conference tournament championship, and their 40th NCAA tournament berth. Now the question remains if they will be one of the four number one seeds in this year’s dance.