As CW documented in his piece about ND/Louisville history, a meeting between these two teams usually guarantees a classic matchup and perhaps an overtime or two. That did not happen Friday night as Louisville turned up their full court press midway through the first half and used it to spark an 18-0 run and never looked back.
Notre Dame shot atrociously all night and turned the ball over against Pitino's press as they now await selection Sunday to see whether they'll be a 4, 5 or 6 seed.
More on the 64-50 Irish semi-final loss after the jump.
The Irish started off well taking a 15-9 lead early but it was all Louisville from then on. Notre Dame failed to make a field goal in the last 12:52 minutes of the first half and the game was virtually over then as the Cardinals took a 35-19 lead going into the tunnels.
After a few early buckets in the first half, Notre Dame was able to cut the lead to 12 and looked to be able to make a bit of push, but Louisville made their buckets late in the shotclock and did not lose focus on the defensive side of the ball. Peyton Siva had 13 points 8 rebounds and 9 assists and big man Gorgui Dieng scored 16 points on perfect 8/8 shooting.
Jack Cooley will look at this game and the three layups he missed early and get mad at himself, Eric Atkins and Jerian Grant will look at their combined 8 turnovers and kick themselves tonight. I hope they do. And I hope this makes them hungry and want that elusive Saturday night game even more now.
If Scott Martin is granted his 6th year, this team will look the same only with the addition of Garrick Sherman as Jack Cooley's back up and Cameron Biedscheid in the perimeter rotation. Which means they'll be improved, and deeper than they were this season.
The Irish season will have at least one more game as they await who their opponent will be on Selection Sunday.