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2013 NCAA tournament, Louisville vs. Colorado State halftime score: Cardinals pulling away from Rams

The Louisville inside game and pressure defense is how they are leading Colorado State at the half.

Kevin C. Cox

The Colorado St. Rams are giving their best effort against, but the top-seeded Louisville Cardinals pressure defense is proving to be too much for Colorado State. At the half, Louisville leads Colorado State by a score of 45-31.

For about the first 12 minutes of the half these two teams were going back and forth with Louisville leading 21-19 over Colorado State. However, from that point on the pendulum swung toward Louisville as they ended the half on a 24-12 run. Colorado State did end the half on a mini-run of 5-2, and it would have been 5-0 if not for a basket by Louisville with .5 seconds left in the half.

During the second part of the first half, Colorado State turned the ball over multiple times and struggled to get the ball past half court going up against the very difficult full court press. The Rams were getting the ball barely past mid court within the 10 second mark. The problem is that Colorado State coughed up the ball over 11 times to Louisville's three, and also the points in the paint are also favoring the Cardinals 22 to 6.

The bright spot for Colorado State is that they are shooting 60 percent from the field, but Louisville is an even better 67 percent. The Rams offense is very balanced with five players with points and two of those have six. Louisville is getting 18 points from Russ Smith, and not much other scoring from others.

For Colorado State to comeback they need to get the ball past the Louisville press, limit their turnovers and step up their own defensive pressure to include forcing turnovers. The offense also can not be timid, they need to attack Louisville.

The best part is during the halftime interview where Rick Pitino goes all Lou Holtz by saying Colorado State "is the best second round opponent I've ever seen in my life." That is a nice compliment for Colorado State, but it is a backhanded one since they are up by 14 at the half.