Irish fall to Louisville; No. 1 seed in jeopardy

Irish fall to Louisville; No. 1 seed in jeopardy
March 12, 2011, 5:14 am
Share This Post

Friday, March 11, 2011
Posted: 11:24 p.m. Updated: 11:42 p.m.

NEW YORK (AP) Preston Knowles, despite playing the final 10 minutes of regulation and overtime with four fouls, scored 20 points to rally No. 14 Louisville to an 83-77 victory over No. 4 Notre Dame on Friday night and a spot in the championship game of the Big East tournament.The third-seeded Cardinals (25-8) will face ninth-seeded and 21st-ranked Connecticut, which advanced with a 76-71 overtime win over Syracuse.It is the first time both Big East semifinals went to overtime and this was the third extra-session game of the tournament, matching the record.The overtime was certainly nothing new to these teams as six of their last 10 games have gone to the extra 5 minutes, including this season's meeting, an 87-79 Notre Dame win on Feb. 9.Ben Hansbrough, the conference player of the year, struggled through one of his worst games of the season for the Irish (26-6), who had won 12 of 13. The senior guard finished 3 of 16 from the field for 13 points and had six turnovers.Peyton Siva, who also played the final 10 minutes and overtime with four fouls, had 15 points and seven assists for the Cardinals, who will be seeking their second title, having won it in 2009.Connecticut will be looking for its seventh title, which would tie Georgetown for the most ever. The last time the Huskies won the tournament was in 2004.Notre Dame ended the first half on a 13-5 run to take a 46-32 lead. The largest halftime deficit overcome for a tournament game win was 15 points by Syracuse in a 58-57 semifinal win over Georgetown.Louisville had its 14-point deficit wiped out by taking advantage of a terrible second half of shooting by the Irish.Notre Dame shot 56.7 percent from the field (17 of 30) in the first half. The Irish managed to go just 6 of 22 in the second 20 minutes (27.3 percent) and then 2 of 6 in the extra 5 minutes. They finished 25 of 58 overall (43.1 percent), including 8 of 24 from 3-point range.Knowles tied the game at 66 with 2:47 left in overtime. His tip-in of his own jumper gave Louisville a 70-68 lead with 1:52 to go and then his jumper with 1:02 left gave the Cardinals a 72-70 lead.Carleton Scott tied the game at 72 with 46 seconds left and both teams missed a chance at taking the lead late in regulation, Notre Dame's a 3-point attempt by Hansbrough with 3 seconds to go.It was Knowles again who gave Louisville the lead in the overtime for the final time with two free throws with 3:57 to play. Notre Dame managed just two points the rest of the way, keeping the Irish from their first ever championship game appearance.Terrence Jennings, Louisville's center who played the final 9:30 of regulation and overtime with four fouls, had 16 points.Scott Martin led Notre Dame with 21 points and eight rebounds, and Tim Abromaitis added 16 points.Complete Recap Boxscore
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.