Mar 15, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Louisville Cardinals guard Russ Smith (2) and Notre Dame Fighting Irish forward Zach Auguste (2) battle for the rebound during the first half of a semifinal game of the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville Wins, Will Play For Conference Title


Mar 15, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Louisville Cardinals guard Russ Smith (2) shoots over Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Jerian Grant (22) during the first half of a semifinal game of the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Louisville Cardinals (28-5) are headed to their third straight Big East title game. UofL knocked off Notre Dame (25-9) 69-57 and will face Syracuse Saturday night.

Russ Smith’s 20 points and 6 assists helped Louisville earn their ninth straight victory. Peyton Siva filled up the stat sheet with 12 points, 6 assists, and tied a Big East tournament record with 7 steals. Gorgui Dieng grabbed a game high 12 rebounds.

Smith and Siva both broke school records held by Louisville legends during the win. Smith connected on 3-4 free-throws which gave him the school record for most FT made in a season previously held by Wes Unseld. Siva passed Darrell Griffith to become the all-time steals leader. Siva was the Big East tournament MVP last year when UofL won its second Big East title.

Syracuse (26-8) beat top seed Georgetown (25-6) 58-55 in overtime to advance to the title game. With the Hoyas losing, UofL likely has the inside track on a No. 1 NCAA tournament seed. The matchup against Louisville with be the third of the season with both winning one.

This will be UofL’s fourth time in five years appearing in the Big East championship game.

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