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No. 5 Louisville beats No. 21 UConn 71-61

Louisville coach Rick Pitino calls for a jump ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Connecticut in the finals of the American Athletic Conference men's tournament Saturday, March 15, 2014, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Montrezl Harrell had 22 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks, and fifth-ranked Louisville beat No. 21 Connecticut 71-61 Saturday for the inaugural American Athletic Conference tournament title in the Cardinals' lone season in the league.

The defending national champions clinched their 40th NCAA tournament berth.

The Cardinals (29-5) have won three straight league tournament titles after taking the last two in the Big East, and they added their 19th overall before moving to the Atlantic Coast Conference in July.

Russ Smith had 19 points and five steals for Louisville, and Chris Jones added 11 points.

UConn (26-8) came in looking for an eighth tournament title to go with seven from the Big East. DeAndre Daniels led the Huskies with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

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