National Basketball Association
Louisville 84, Middle Tennessee St. 68
When: 6:30 PM ET, Sunday, March 18, 2018
Where: KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, Kentucky
# Ron Groover, # Raymond Styons, # Matt Potter
Ray Spalding scored a team-high 18 points as second-seeded Louisville breezed to an easy 84-68 victory against third-seeded Middle Tennessee in the second round of the NIT on Sunday night in Louisville, Ky.
Jordan Nwora added 17 points and Ryan McMahon had 15 for Louisville (22-13), which moves on to face fourth-seeded Mississippi State in a Region 2 third-round matchup with a trip to the NIT semifinals on the line.
Nick King finished with a game-high 24 points and six rebounds for Middle Tennessee (25-8), which earned its second-round date with Louisville after dispatching sixth-seeded Vermont 91-64 in the opening round.
The Cardinals got to Round 2 after a 66-58 win against seventh-seeded Northern Kentucky.
V.J. King was Louisville's only other double-digit scorer with 13 points, and he also grabbed a team-high six boards. The Cardinals received a solid effort from their bench, which outscored the Blue Raiders' reserves 42-18.
Louisville shot 53.7 percent (29 of 54) from the field and 52.4 percent (11 of 21) from 3-point range while making 15 of 20 free throws.
Brandon Walters contributed 16 points off the bench for the Blue Raiders. Giddy Potts and Antwain Johnson added 10 apiece as Middle Tennessee was defeated despite shooting an efficient 51 percent (26 of 51) from the floor.
However, the Blue Raiders shot just 33.3 percent (5 of 15) from 3-point range and went 11-for-16 at the free-throw line while being outrebounded 28-27.
Louisville was up 41-26 at halftime with both McMahon (13 points) and Spalding (10) already in double figures.
Middle Tennessee stayed close with a 26-point third quarter but was outscored 19-16 in the fourth as the Cardinals went up by double digits.
All of Spalding's first-half points came in a tight first quarter that saw the Blue Raiders emerge with a 16-15 lead.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
|Middle Tennessee St.
Nick King 24
Ray Spalding 18
Giddy Potts 3
Quentin Snider 8
Nick King 6
V.J. King 6
Nick King 5
||Free Throws Made
V.J. King 5
Giddy Potts 1
Ray Spalding 2
Nick King 1
Anas Mahmoud 2
Team Stats Summary
|Middle Tennessee St.