Welcome to it. There’s no doubt about it, two big matches with major implications scheduled back to back for a Saturday slate full of Notre Dame disdain.

SENIOR DAY

Mens basketball face the Irish again..

Cardinals fell on the Road to the Irish, 77-70 to start 2017 and gave the Cards an 0-2 start to conference play.   In that match, Steve Vasturia scored a career-high 24 points to lead No. 23 Notre Dame to a 77-70 ACC upset of 9th ranked Louisville back on January 4th.  Matt Farrell tied his career high with 22 points for the Irish and Bonzie Colson recorded his ninth double-double of the season for Notre Dame, finishing with 18 points and 14 rebounds.   Donovan Mitchell led the Cardinals with 20 points and added five steals to go with five assists and four rebounds.  The Cardinals came in to that one 6th in the nation in blocked shots at 6.6 per game, and finished with seven, six of them from center Anas MahmoudQuentin Snider added 12 points for the Cardinals.

Vasturia’s fallaway one-handed in the lane with 20 seconds to play put the Irish up by 73-68 and they hit four straight free throws down from there to seal the win.

While the Irish missed six straight field goals, Louisville scored four consecutive points to tie the game, 68-68 with two minutes to play. Notre Dame only got the one field goal from there and did the rest of their work from the line.  The best free throw shooting team in the country, the Irish shot 22 of 25, including 15 of 16 in the second half.

 

The Cards need this victory to wrap up the regular season.  Pretty much, North Carolina now sits at the top all by themselves and established their favoritism to win the league and a 1 seed in the NCAA’s… but when you look at ‘who’s going to try to knock the Tar Heels’ in the ACC, your guess is just as good as mine.  But Louisville seriously needs to even the series with the Irish this season to get that ultimately desired double-bye in the conference tournament.

I think that message is seriously conveyed to the team by coach Pitino on how to navigate to wins and titles and success on the court.  On Senior Day, hopes are high in the Ville for the Cards to notch another mark in the W category and even the record with Notre Dame for a top 4 spot.

Send it in for the BOOM, Seniors.  And thanks for the memories. Mangok Mathieng, David Levitch, Tony Hicks.

Women’s ACC Tournament

No. 14 LOUISVILLE 59, No. 17 N.C. STATE 58

CONWAY — The fifth-seeded Cardinals (27-6) advanced to the semifinals for the third consecutive season.  Asia Durr scored 28 points and Louisville beat NC State in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals. They will play No. 3 Notre Dame.  Miah Spencer scored 18 points for N.C. State (22-8).  It seems to come down to the last second when Louisville and North Carolina State play lately.  This time the Cardinals came out on top.

Trailing 58-57 with 19.4 seconds left Myisha Hines-Allen hit two free throws for the Cardinals.  NC State had a final chance but Miah Spencer missed a shot in the lane and DD Rodgers’ follow was no good.

“Every time we play them it comes down to the very end and shows how critical every possession is throughout a game,” NC State coach Wes Moore said (named ACC Coach of the Year on Wednesday.

“Spencer got a good shot, it’s a shot she could make,” Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. “What we didn’t do a good job of was rebounding it there. They came up with a big board, had a great look, fortunate it didn’t go in.”

How they got here…

No. 3 NOTRE DAME 76, VIRGINIA 59

CONWAY — Arike Ogunbowale scored 19 points and Brianna Turner added 16 to help No. 3 Notre Dame beat Virginia 76-59 on Friday in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals.

Lindsay Allen had 12 points and 10 assists, breaking the conference’s career assist record, for the top-seeded Irish (28-3). Notre Dame will face No. 14 Louisville on Saturday.No. 3 NOTRE DAME 76, VIRGINIA 59
CONWAY — Arike Ogunbowale scored 19 points and Brianna Turner added 16 to help No. 3 Notre Dame beat Virginia 76-59 on Friday in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals.
Lindsay Allen had 12 points and 10 assists, breaking the conference’s career assist record, for the top-seeded Irish (28-3). Notre Dame will face No. 14 Louisville on Saturday.

Who am I kidding.. the Irish are always here.  Louisville finished second in regular season conference ranking in 2016 before falling to Syracuse and getting the chance to meet the Irish in post season.  In 2015, same story… the Cards fell in the semis to Florida State before reaching the finals to rematch Notre Dame.  But the real story here is that Notre Dame has won 3 straight and is vying for its 4th straight title since joining the league in 2014.  Notre dame is #goals when it comes to women’s basketball and competing with the elite and national icon, UCONN, who’s won 6 national championships in the last decade.

When the two met earlier this season..

No. 12 Women’s Basketball Drops Decision at No. 7 Notre Dame

Arike Ogunbowale scored 22 points and No. 7 Notre Dame ran past No. 12 Louisville for an 85-66 win back on February 7th.  Asia Durr scored a game-high 31 points in that one.  Mariya Moore added 18 points and seven rebounds.  Louisville cut the Notre Dame lead to 12 with 6:28 to play, but consecutive jumpers by Allen and layups by Ogunbowale with just over three minutes left kept the Irish cushion comfortable.

The Irish defense got their early spurt going by forcing nine Louisville turnovers in the first half. The Cardinals finished with 16 miscues, which led to 25 Irish points.  Notre Dame didn’t commit a turnover until there was 1:22 left in the third quarter, and had 50 points by the break. The Irish had just three turnovers for the game.

 

Jeff Walz and the Cards have their work cut out for them if they wanna make it past the Irish.  You can check this one out on ESPN2 at noon Saturday March 4, 2017.  Follow @UofLWBB for online updates, as well.  If the Cards do pull it off, they’ll play for their first ACC title on Sunday, March 5th.

 

Go Cards

@darylfoust4

 

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