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No. 11 Louisville beats No. 19 UConn 81-48

By Sam Draut–

No. 11 Louisville celebrated the careers of the four seniors who have seen the most wins in their careers in Cardinal history as Louisville routed No. 19 Connecticut 81-48 on Saturday at the KFC YUM! Center.

Stephan Van Treese, Tim Henderson, Luke Hancock, and Russ Smith were all honored before the game, then started and played integral roles in the Cardinals first victory over a ranked team at home this season.

Montrezl Harrell led Louisville (26-5) with 20 points and 11 rebounds, his ninth double-double of the season.

“He’s an incredible basketball player right now. He’s improved his passing. He’s improved his dribbling. He’s improved his one-on-one moves,” coach Rick Pitino said.

Hancock paced the seniors in scoring, hitting four three-pointers, finishing with 16 points and three rebounds.

But Smith stole the show, passing his way to a career high 13 assists.  In 30 minutes of play, Smith took just two shots from the field, scoring three points and adding four steals.

“I can’t ever imagine Russ Smith, knowing him, on senior night, would pass up all opportunities to score and get 13 assists. It shows you how much he has grown,” Pitino said. “He got to play point guard and he knows the role of a point guard, which is pass before shot.”

Van Treese, starting his ninth consecutive game, pulled down a season high 13 rebounds and scored six points.

“We need him to play exactly the way he played,” Pitino said. “We need him because now he’s a legitimate player that helps us win the game so now we fully expect him to play that way every night.”

Tim Henderson logged 14 minutes in his first career start and scored two points.

Louisville opened the game on a 17-5 run through the first eight minutes.  Connecticut (24-7) started the game 0 of 8 from the field, but settled in an trailed 30-18 at halftime.

“If we can play that stifling defense, we are a tough team,” Pitino said. “We have been playing 90-100% man this season, and tonight we went all zone, which I thought we played awesome.”

Connecticut’s offensive struggles stemmed from a poor performance from the Huskie’s backcourt of  Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright.  UConn’s two leading scorers combined for 13 points on 4 of 24 shooting from the field.

“The biggest focus on the game was wearing those two guys out physically without fouling,” Pitino said.

After going five games without hitting a three-pointer, Wayne Blackshear connected with three on Saturday and finished with 11 points.

Chris Jones added 10 points off the bench.

With the win, Louisville won a share of the AAC regular season title with Cincinnati.

“We are happy with it, as long as we have a share of it,” Pitino said. “I think that is great and they have had a terrific season. We are excited about it. We will share it with anybody and we had a great season. I am very proud of our guys. ”

Photo courtesy of Michael Black/ Sports Illustrated

Opinion: Sherman speaks out

By Annie Moore

“I’m the greatest of all time!” Something we’ve heard more than a couple of times from more than a couple of athletes. So why all of the fuss about Richard Sherman?


For those of you who have been sleeping under a rock for the past few days and haven’t heard, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman gave a very controversial postgame interview with Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews after the Seahawks defeated the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game Sunday Night.


“I’m the best corner in the game! When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree that’s the results you’re going to get,” Sherman shouted “Don’t you ever talk about me! Don’t you open your mouth about the best, or I’m going to shut it for you real quick.”


So what drove a man who just won a huge game to give such a hostile interview? A graduate of Stanford University with a degree in Communications presented himself so inarticulately and was an instant sensation. Whether people hated it, were amused by it, loved his bravado or deplored it, everyone had heard it and had something to say about it. But why?


Muhammad Ali proclaimed “I am the greatest” at the height of his boxing career and the response was nothing like this past Sunday Nights’. Why? I believe the answer is two-fold.


First off, Sherman attacked a fellow athlete, a professional, respected by many in the league. Yes, Sherman beat Crabtree on that particular play, but that does not entitle him to be berated by a colleague on national television. And he certainly didn’t need to be called mediocre, multiple times by Sherman even after his initial interview.


But the biggest reason I believe that Sherman’s comments prompted such an uproar, and Ali’s didn’t, is because boxing isn’t a team sport.


In what was a great team win for the Seattle Seahawks, Richard Sherman manages to make it all about himself. And that is what offended not only the fans, but surely his teammates.


No one cared when Ali alienated everyone else in the sport, because it was his and only his to defend. But when you play a game like football, where success is dependent on many men doing their jobs, to brag and credit yourself and your superiority as the key to the team’s success is not only short-sided, but it is selfish and alienates the rest of the team.


Sports fans and athletes alike, love the camaraderie of sport. The teamwork and cooperation used by the greatest teams is a large part of what attracts us to them, as much if not more than the talent and bravado of the athletes themselves. That’s why when Muhammad Ali steps out and says “I’m the greatest of all time” we eat it up. But when Richard Sherman says it, we lose our appetite.

LC photo

U of L researcher to perform global research

By: Olivia Krauth

U of L has announced researcher Dr. Suzanne Ildstad will be working with Novartis, a multinational pharmaceutical corporation, to continue research on stem cell technology that may assist transplant patients.

Ildstad, professor of surgery and CEO of Louisville-based biotechnology company Regenerex LLC, developed the Facilitating Cell Therapy approach and published her findings in March 2012. The process aims to allow both the donor and the patient’s bone marrow systems work together in the patient’s body. The process has been proven to decrease or eliminate the patient’s need to take anti-rejection medicine for life.

This is the first process in which the donor and the patient don’t have to be related biologically, nor do they have to match on an immunological basis.

“The potential impact for transplant patients throughout the world is truly amazing,” said President James Ramsey. “Additionally, Novartis will look at developing the treatment as a platform for other diseases such as sickle cell anemia and others. And they will help Suzanne and her program in funding their research initiative for additional medical breakthroughs.”

Dr. David Dunn, executive vice president of health affairs, referred to Ildstad’s work as “potentially Nobel Prize-winning work.”

Ilsdtad said that the reason they decided to commercialize the product was that news of their success spread and they didn’t have the funding to support all interested in receiving the treatment.

“We realized in an academic setting, we could not meet the need,” said Ilsdtad. “We needed to commercialize it to make it widely available.”

The first patient to go through the treatment successfully, Bob Waddell, was present for the announcement.

Ildstad was one of the first faculty members to come to U of L through the Bucks for Brains program, a program that Ramsey said “transformed the University of Louisville.”

“Suzanne believed in the University of Louisville. She wanted to be part of helping us achieve our statutory mandate of being one of the best universities anywhere,” continued Ramsey.

“What is has done to our city in terms of saying ‘We’re a city that’s going to compete’…is extraordinarily rewarding,” said Mayor Greg Fischer on the Bucks for Brains program.

While in Louisville, Ildstad’s research has attracted 55 employees, as well as multiple grants.

“We talk a lot in Kentucky about manufacture. We talk a lot in Kentucky about the legacy of agriculture, and those are important and we continue to focus on them,” said Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson. “But the reality is, the focus on technology and biosciences and all that leads to biotechnology is tomorrow. It’s the future.

“I would say it’s been a pretty good investment in terms of the Commonwealth, and the University, and the hospital.”

“It’s not only good for the University of Louisville and our faculty, but more importantly, something that is good for our people of our region, state, and in this case, the globe,” said Ramsey

Photo Courtesy of Regenerex LLC