The Fighting Irish took on the Cardinals in the Big East Semifinals. Notre Dame had never advanced to the final of the Big East Tournament. For the fourth straight year, Mike Brey and company tried to make it out of the Semifinals and to a Saturday matchup for the title. But, unfortunately, the Irish again came up short. As strange and negative as it sounds, Notre Dame will never play in the Big East Championship game.
Notre Dame did an excellent job in the first half of handling the pressure from Louisville. However, Louisville still forced 10 Notre Dame turnovers in the first half. Additionally, the Irish were out-rebounded by the Cardinals 16-11 in the first period of play.
Mike Brey was visibly frustrated at the end of the first half. He was angry with the officials for the calls that went against him. He was also frustrated with Notre Dame’s performance on defense at the end of half. The Irish left Luke Hancock wide open for three, which gave the Cardinals a 32-25 lead.
In the second half, the Cardinals suffocated the Irish in the second half. Notre Dame hung tough but faded with five minutes remaining.
The Irish were led by Jack Cooley and Jerian Grant who each had 14 points. Cooley added 6 rebounds. Grant chipped in 5 assists.
Mike Brey and his team will return to South Bend and await their seeding in the NCAA Tournament. Notre Dame will look to correct some early exits in NCAA Tournament in recent history.