Seattle, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - Terry Rozier led the way with 25 points and seven assists as Louisville defeated Northern Iowa 66-53 in the third round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.
Montrezl Harrell chipped in with 14 points and six rebounds, while Quentin Snider and Wayne Blackshear each scored 10 for the fourth-seeded Cardinals (26-8), who will face eighth-seeded North Carolina State Friday in their fourth straight Sweet 16 appearance.
"Well, I couldn't be more pumped up, more excited because we beat such a great team," Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said. "I feel like we came together as a team tonight and we really did the key things that we need to do on the defensive end to make sure that we rode our team to a victory."
Seth Tuttle provided 14 points and seven boards, while Nate Buss had 11 points for the fifth-seeded Panthers (31-4), who were coming off a 74-54 victory over Wyoming in the second round.
"We battled hard to grab ahold of the momentum tonight and we just couldn't do it," UNI head coach Ben Jacobson said. "A lot to or all to do with Louisville and the way in which they went about their business and the game tonight."
In the second half, Rozier hit back-to-back jumpers and Blackshear's triple capped a 9-3 run that staked the Cardinals to a 51-39 lead with 12:23 to play.
Louisville suddenly went cold and allowed its opponent to creep back into the game as it made just one of its next 10 shots from the field and a layup from Buss got the Panthers within 53-45 with 8:41 to play.
After Buss cut the deficit to six points, Harrell broke the Cardinals' near seven-minute drought with a commanding alley-oop slam and disrupted the Panthers' momentum, making it a 57-49 game with 3:31 left.
Harrell came up big once again as the Cardinals embarked down the court following Buss' 3-point miss and Rozier lobbed up a pass that Harrell threw down for an 11-point spread.
Anas Mahmoud hit a pair of free throws on the next possession to seal the outcome.
Down by three, Louisville jumped in front with a 7-0 burst which was capped on a Blackshear triple for a 17-13 lead midway through the first half.
Snider's corner 3 increased the Cardinals' lead to seven points with under five minutes to play and Rozier's jumper provided them with a 36-27 halftime lead.
Rozier carried Louisville with 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting as his team shot 52 percent from the field overall and limited UNI to 40 percent shooting over the first 20 minutes.
Louisville has advanced to the Sweet 16 seven times since 2005 and 21 times overall, which is fourth most in NCAA history ... The Cardinals shot 45.8 percent and limited the Panthers to 39.1 percent ... UNI's bench outscored Louisville's by a 26-5 margin ... Panthers guard Wes Washpun scored 10 points.