Louisville Cardinals vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Things are heating up in the Big East Mens Basketball Tournament and could boil over in tonights semi-finals at Madison Square Garden when the No.3 seed Louisville Cardinals square-off against the No.2 seed Notre Dame Fighting Irish.Â Notre Dame is a slight 1-point favorite this evening with a over/under total of 139.
Louisville used its double-bye in the first two rounds of this tournament to its full advantage with an 81-56 pasting of No.11 seed Marquette as a 3-point favorite in Thursdays quarterfinals. The Cardinals earned the third seed by compiling a 12-6 overall record in the Big East and finished the regular season 23-8 with a record of 18-10 against the spread. Senior guard Preston Knowles led a trio of Louisville players scoring in double-figures against the Golden Eagles with a game-high 15 points which matched his season average of 14.5 points a game. Junior forward Terrence Jennings added 12 points while junior guard Chris Smith had a huge game under the boards with game-high 11 rebounds.
Notre Dame has put itself in prime position to nail down a No.1 seed for next weeks NCAA Tournament with a dominating 89-51 win over No.7 seed Cincinnati as a 2-point favorite combined with Pittsburghs loss to Connecticut in yesterdays quarterfinals. It was the Irishs 26th win this season against just five losses. Ben Hansbrough and Tim Abromaitis lead a team of five senior starters that have the necessary talent and experience to not only win this tournament, but to possibly bring home a national title to South Bend. Hansbrough led the way against the Bearcats with a game-high 23 points and Carleton Scott added 18 points in the winning effort.
The Irish knocked-off Louisville 89-79 in overtime on February 9th as a 4-point home favorite during the regular season. With the lure of a top seed in the Big Dance hanging in the balance, stick with the Irish to pull out the win in another thriller.Â With a win today, I believe that Notre Dame will lock up a #1 seed in the March Madness tournament.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish -1 Louisville Cardinals