Louisville Rallies Back to Overtake Notre Dame, 83-77

The Cardiac Cards strike again.

Preston Knowles attacks a loose ball. PHOTO:ESPN

Louisville continued its impressive play with a comeback from 16 down to defeat a surging Notre Dame team. The Cardinals went into the half down 14 and having huge problems pushing the tempo. Yet when Rick Pitino and company emerged, UofL was able to get back into the swing of things.

The Cardinals came out of the break with a full court press that quickly caused the Fighting Irish some problems. Louisville was able to cause 11 turnovers, many unforced, which transferred into much needed momentum.

The Cards also excelled at shutting down Big East Player of the Year (who isn’t Kemba Walker) Ben Hansborough. Pitino threw everything but the kitchen sink at the Notre Dame star and at times Hansborough was visibly frustrated.

Louisville was even able to shut down Notre Dame with immense foul trouble. The whistles kept coming for the Cards and quickly were dug a huge hole. Peyton Siva fouled out with four minutes left in the second half, and Preston Knowles picked up his fourth foul at the 13 minute mark. Knowles was able to rack up most of his 20 points with four fouls in one of the senior’s defining moments as a Cardinal.

What was most impressive was the mithotic manner in with Louisville came back. Slowly but surely Madison Square Garden could sense the Louisville train beginning to move. It took 18 minutes for Louisville to take the lead in the second half, and from then on the Irish floundered. Notre Dame had a 3 minute span where their only points were from free throws.

In overtime the Cardinals were able to keep their momentum and quickly created a small lead. Notre Dame was never able to claw back and strong defense reigned in the extra period.

Once again Louisville showed how they can beat their opponent in multiple ways. Last night the Cardinals showcased their three-point prowess. Tonight they proved again that no matter the deficit you can expect Preston Knowles and Rick Pitino to keep a game interesting.

Now the Cardinals will take on Connecticut in the Big East final tomorrow at 9pm on ESPN. The Cardinals have defeated the Huskies in both meetings, but UConn is coming off two strong statement victories. Kemba Walker, the true Big East Player of the Year, is sure to be in stellar form as he has been all week in New York.

A victory tomorrow would solidify a three seed in the NCAA tournament. A two seed is still possible but unlikely now that Notre Dame will probably get one. Only time will tell where the Cards will stand next weekend.

Unfortunately, the Big East final will be taking a backseat to Lady Gaga as she performs at the KFC Yum! Center tomorrow night. I will be in attendance.