Champions!

For the third consecutive season, the University of Louisville will enter the NCAA tournament as conference tournament champions. The 5th-ranked Cardinals defeated No. 21 Connecticut 71-61 to win the inaugural AAC tournament championship. Russ Smith was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

Another year, another conference, same result.

After winning the Big East Conference tournament title in back-to-back seasons, the University of Louisville continued that trend on Saturday by defeating No. 21 Connecticut 71-61 to claim the American Athletic Conference tournament crown.

Led by sophomore forward Montrezl Harrell the Cardinals had three players score in double figures. Harrell recorded another double-double, scoring 22 and grabbing 11 rebounds. Russ Smith added 19 points and 5 steals, with Chris Jones scoring 11.

Stephan Van Treese continued to play well, attacking the floor for loose balls and pulling down crucial rebounds. The senior collected 8 boards and had 3 assists in the win.

Smith, who scored a career-high 42 points in Friday's semi-final win over Houston, was named the AAC tournament Most Outstanding Player. Smith averaged 26 points and connected on 10 of 16 three-point attempts during the three game stretch. He also totaled 11 assists, 8 steals and 7 rebounds.

Jones, a Memphis native, and Montrezl Harrell were selected to the All-Tournament team.

Stay tuned to CardinalAuthority.com for continuing coverage of the Cardinals latest title.

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