Louisville's Russ Smith Named Most Outstanding Player of Midwest Region

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2013

Mar 31, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Louisville Cardinals guard Russ Smith (2) chases down a loose ball against the Duke Blue Devils  in the first half during the finals of the Midwest regional of the 2013 NCAA tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

After leading his team on a dominant run to the Final Four, Louisville's Russ Smith was named Most Outstanding Player of the Midwest Region.

Eric Crawford of WDRB in Louisville reported the honor, as well as the complete All-Regional team:

As reported, the All-Regional team included Smith's teammates Peyton Siva and Gorgui Dieng, plus Mason Plumlee and Seth Curry of Duke.

Smith scored an incredible 104 points in four NCAA tournament games, including 23 in the regional final against Duke. His ability to get to the basket consistently helped carry the Cardinals to comfortable wins in every round en route to the Final Four. 

The junior also received plenty of help from Siva, who had his best game of the postseason against Duke with 16 points and four assists. Smith also played outstanding defense throughout the tournament, with 13 steals in four games.

Dieng additionally saved his best performance for the toughest opponent, as he finished with 14 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks against the Blue Devils.

Meanwhile, Plumlee was one of the few bright spots in a rough outing for Duke. He totaled 17 points and 12 rebounds in a losing effort. Curry struggled against the stifling Louisville defense, but he was averaging 24 points per game in three rounds to start the tournament. 

All of these players were well-deserving of this honor and should be proud of their postseason accomplishments.

Of course, the three Louisville stars will try to continue this run and work for a national championship in Atlanta.