What began Tuesday night as opportunity for No. 1 Louisville turned into a coronation as the newly-minted top team in college basketball strutted its way to a 58-43 win over No. 4 Michigan in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. It was Louisville’s first major test of the season, first tilt against a ranked opponent, and one in which it never labored with down the stretch.

The Cardinals jumped on the visiting Wolverines early, building their lead to as many as 15 in the first half and 16 in the second half before running out the clock late. They never trailed.

Louisville’s top-20 offense has been the catalyst to its hot start this season, but Tuesday it was the defense that stood tall. It forced 10 turnovers, limited Michigan to 25.9% shooting from the floor and 15.8% shooting from 3-point range, and squeezed the life out of a Michigan offense that was scoring 82.4 points per game this season. On this night, it appeared the combination of that stingy defense and Michigan’s sluggish night — perhaps the ill effects of recent travel from a trip to the Bahamas — was a recipe for a Louisville crowning on a huge stage.

Cardinals junior Jordan Nwora led the big night for Chris Mack’s team with a game-high 22 points and 12 rebounds. Steven Enoch added 13 points. On the other end of the court, Jon Teske, with 18 points, was the only Michigan player to finish in double figures. Players not named Jon Teske for Michigan shot a grotesque 9-of-40 (22.5%) from the field and 2-of-15 (13.3%) from beyond the 3-point line.

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