Tonight at about 9:30 EST the #4 Louisville Cardinals will face #24 Notre Dame. This game is the Semifinal of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden. The Cards lost to Notre Dame 101-104 in 5OTs in the regular season. They also defeated Notre Dame in the regular season 73-57 at the KFC Yum! Center. Notre Dame is 5th in the nation in assists. They average a high number of 17.2. Notre Dame has been up and down all season. With wins against Pitt and Cincy, and losses against St. Johns and Providence. The leading scorer for the Irish is Jerian Grant. He is averaging 13.4 points a game and 5.7 assists. He is a big key in the Irish’s offense and defense.
If Louisville shuts him down Notre Dame stands no chance. He is the only player who can create shots and take it to the rim. Notre Dame isn’t as good as you think. Trust me, they got lucky against Marquette and I have to argue that Marquette isn’t very talented either. I guarantee that the Irish will not make it to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. The leading rebounder for the Irish is Jack Cooley, he is averaging 10.4 rebounds a game. He is very good on the boards but struggles every where else. He does average 13 points a game but that is on layups. He doesn’t play well against top tier teams.
Peyton Siva just seems to play well at Madison Square Garden. He was in double figures last night and was running all over the place. Russ Smith had 28 points and 2 steals last night in a great victory against Villanova. Russ started the game really slow and his shots weren’t falling but he sure did heat up fast. He went 7-12 from the field and 4-6 from downtown! Awesome stats last night from Russ Smith. Dieng struggled a little last night for the Cards. He missed some up close shots early but started knocking down the mid-range jumpers in the 2nd half. Dieng fished 3-9 from the field with 6 points and 3 rebounds in 25 minutes. Siva and Smith must contain Notre Dame’s guards because they can all knock down 3 pointers.
Gorgui needs to get back on track after a poor outing last night. Also Hancock was only 1-5 from downtown. He struggled a little last night but I think he will pick it up against Notre Dame tonight. Pitino played Kevin Ware for 17 minutes and I think that was a good decision. I really like Ware as a player and he is very talented on defense. He will fill in Siva’s shoes with no trouble.
It will be a close game and Louisville will pull away by hitting a few three pointers.