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Louisville Guard Russ Smith Looking to Join Elite NCAA Tournament Scoring Group

Louisville guard Russ Smith has been the most prolific scorer in this year’s NCAA Tournament.

Through the first five games of the Cardinals’ run to the National Championship Game, Smith has scored a collective 125 points. That’s good enough for an average of 25.0 points per game.

The facts behind Smith’s scoring tear however, is his consecutive games streak. Smith has scored 20+ in all five of the Cardinals’ victories thus far and if he can do so again on Monday night, then he will join an elite scoring group.

Only four players — Richard Hamilton, Glen RiceJohnny Dawkins and Danny Manning  — have scored 20+ points in six NCAA Tournament contests. Smith can become the fifth to do so unless the Michigan Wolverines have other plans for that.

Smith is scoring in variety of ways this tournament and the hype surrounding his play has impacted his NBA Draft stock and potential for next season. Smith — a junior — can hit from the outside and score in transition, but his most valuable trait is being able to slash through the defense with his shifty play and offensive arsenal.

The list of players that have scored 20+ points in five NCAA Tournament games goes on and on, but it’s the aforementioned and exclusive group that has completed the full sweep of the bracket. Smith will look to join them, while also hoping to cut down the nets.

Louisville and Michigan will tip-off with college supremacy on the line at 9:23pm (EST).


Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS