Late threes by Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant made the game closer. Then a botched charging call that became a blocking foul on Wayne Blackshear sent the game into overtime. Not that these two teams should have been surprised by that.
Notre Dame took the lead early in the overtime but the Cards came back to tie, then lead, then tie in the up and down extra stanza. With the last possession, Russ Smith took the last shot, ill advised at NBA three point distance, and missed to send it into double overtime. That mental lapse drove Pitino crazy.
In the second overtime, Hancock’s hot shooting hand cooled off a bit and he couldn’t seem to make a shot. Siva fouled out with only 2 points and 4 assists. You kept wanting to get the good Russdiculous to get started, but that never happened because the ridiculous one reared it’s ugly head and stayed all night.
And then it became triple overtime on a three by the Irish’s Cameron Biedscheid. With Siva out, Smith took the point and left Cardinal fans nerves frazzled considering the way the game was going for the junior.
And then there came a fourth overtime. It came down to Notre Dame’s adrenaline and Louisville’s athleticism. And since the accumulated extra minutes added up to another half of basketball, it was all on the line one more time. Or so it seemed.
But then again, who would have thought it would go to five overtimes? The luck of the Irish made the last shot fall for Zach Auguste at the end of the fourth OT. With Siva and Dieng out, he fouled out in the fourth overtime, who would step up? Montrezl Harrell stepped on the free throw line for 2, trailing by two and he missed both badly.
Badly. That and that aforementioned bad Russdiculousness cost Louisville the game. Behanan tried everything to will the Cards to victory, scoring a career 30 points and pulling in 14 rebounds. Hancock, the shooter with no memory of a bad shot, poured in 22.
A win could have put the Cards back in the top 10 with the crazy upsets over the weekend, including Indiana, Michigan and Kansas. That’s not to be, however these are the kinds of games that get you ready for March, which is where Pitino and company are always aiming for.
The Cards get a rest, and they’ll need it after 65 minutes of basketball, when they come back home to the KFC Yum! Center on Valentine’s Day to take on St. John’s with a late ESPN top off at 9pm.
Photo: Louisville.com/Tim Girton
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