The Notre Dame Fighting Irish traveled to Louisville on Saturday to take on the Louisville Cardinals in the last regular season game of the 2016-2017 season. With the logjam atop the ACC, seeding scenarios coming into the day ranged anywhere from a two seed to a six seed for the Irish in the ACC tournament. With a win over Louisville and a UNC loss to the Duke Blue Devils, the Irish could even claim a share of the regular season ACC title.
Louisville opened the game one of eight from the floor in the first give minutes of the game. On the other hand, the Irish offense was humming in every facet, aside from the ball going through the hoop. Every look was a good luck, but the Irish only lead 10-6 with 12 minutes left. The pace would pick up over the rest of the first, but Louisville took control as the wheels fell off a bit for the Irish. Turnovers and missed shots, and fouls on the defensive end gave the Cardinals the upper hand, but Matt Farrell and V.J. Beachem were able to keep the Irish in it. The halftime score was Louisville 30, Notre Dame 27.
The Irish came out energized early in the second half, seizing a 36-32 lead about four minutes in, following a 9-2 run. The teams would see-saw back and forth, and Farrell and Beachem seemed to answer every time Louisville made a big play. The Irish trailed by five with 5:30 left, and following a turnover, a Louisville three gave the Cardinals all the momentum.
The Cards would push the lead to eight, but Notre Dame found a way to stay in the game. Finally with about 1:20 left, Coach Brey reinserted Martin Geben into the game. His defense and rebounding had been key throughout the game, battling Louisville’s size. His monster put back dunk and then interior defense were crucial in the final minute, and following a Farrell lay in, it was 64-62 with 45 seconds left.
Then Deng Adel hit a three. That was all she wrote.
The loss breaks the Irish win streak, and 23-8 will be the record in the regular season for Notre Dame. With a 12-6 conference mark, the Irish await the conclusion of the rest of today’s ACC games to learn where they’ll be seeded in the ACC tournament.