March 8, 2013
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The University of Louisville men's basketball team will play its final regular-season game on Saturday, March 8, against 24th-ranked Notre Dame in the KFC Yum! Center, with at least a share of the BIG EAST regular-season title on the line.
Fans are encouraged to `Wear Red for the Seniors' for Saturday's contest. Prior to the game, seniors Mike Marra and Peyton Siva and junior Gorgui Dieng will participate in Senior Day ceremonies.
The game is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. and will be broadcast on CBS, as Verne Lundquist (play-by-play) and Mike Gminski (analyst) announce the action. Fans also can tune into WKRD 790 AM, with Paul Rogers (play-by-play) and Doug Ormay (analyst) calling the contest (joined in progress on WHAS 840 AM).
No. 8/6 Louisville (25-5, 13-4 BIG EAST) has won six straight, including its latest victory coming on Monday in the KFC Yum! Center against Cincinnati, 67-51. After the Bearcats knotted the game at 37 with 15:57 left to play in the second half, the Cardinals answered with an 18-5 run. Cincinnati finished with a 35.3 percent clip from the field, marking the third-straight opponent - and seven of the last nine - the Cardinals have held to less than 40 percent from the field.
Russ Smith led all scorers with 18 points, and Dieng added 11 points and nine rebounds. Luke Hancock led the second-half surge with eight points and two assists. Cashmere Wright totaled with 15 points for the Bearcats.
With the win, head coach Rick Pitino secured his 300th victory as the Cardinals' head coach.
In the latest statistical rankings, the Cardinals are in the top 25 nationally in a host of categories: second in turnover margin (+6.2) and steals per game (10.8), fourth in scoring margin (+15.5), 19th in scoring defense (58.0), and 25th in field goal percentage defense (38.8). Individually, Dieng ranks 17th nationally in rebounds per game (10.0), Siva is 22nd in assists per game (5.9) and Smith is 34th in steals per game (2.1).
Notre Dame (23-7, 11-6) comes into the matchup after posting a 66-40 victory over St. John's on Tuesday. Jerian Grant led all scorers with 21 points, adding eight assists and three steals. Jack Cooley finished with his 19th double-double of the season, scoring 12 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. JaKarr Sampson led St. John's with 12 points, and Sir'Dominic Pointer added seven points and 12 rebounds.
Statistically, Notre Dame is tops in the country in assist/turnover ratio (1.58). The Fighting Irish also rank in the top 25 in assists per game (No. 3; 17.5), field goal percentage (No. 24; 47.3) and turnovers per game (No. 24; 11.1).
The Fighting Irish are under the direction of 13-year head coach Mike Brey, who has guided the program to a 283-139 overall mark. Cooley leads Notre Dame with 13.8 points per game and 10.7 rebounds per game.
Breaking Out Special Red Uniforms: The UofL team will wear new adidas red Cardinal uniforms for its March 9 game. Designed and developed by adidas, the special uniforms feature solid color blocking of team logos, word marks and numbers with minimal accent color and shimmer finish for a bold on-court look. The uniform content is similar to the Cardinals' regular white uniforms, with a monochromatic approach.
Stealing Darrell Griffith's record: Peyton Siva needs six steals to strip Darrell Griffith of his 23-year school record for most career steals. Siva had two steals in the victory over Cincinnati, giving him 225 for his career. He ranks behind Labradford Smith (227) and Griffith (230).
THE SERIES - Louisville vs. Notre Dame
In a matchup that dates back to 1952, the Cardinals lead the all-time series, 18-12. In a meeting between the two programs earlier this year, Louisville fell in the longest game in BIG EAST regular-season history, 104-101. Three Cardinals produced double-doubles in the five-overtime contest, led by Chane Behanan's career-high 30 points and 15 rebounds. Russ Smith scored 21 points and pulled down a career-high 10 rebounds, and Gorgui Dieng finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds. The Fighting Irish had two players record a double-double, with Pat Connaughton totaling 16 points and 14 rebounds and Cooley posting 11 points and 11 rebounds.
GAME FACTS - Louisville vs. Notre Dame
Date: Saturday, March 9
Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
Site: KFC Yum! Center/Crum Court, Louisville, Ky. (22,000)
Television: CBS will televise the game, as Verne Lundquist (play-by-play) and Mike Gminski (analyst) call the contest.
Radio: Fans can listen to the game on WKRD 790 AM (joined in progress on WHAS 840 AM), with Paul Rogers (play-by-play) and Doug Ormay (analyst) announcing the action.
SIRIUS: The game also will broadcast on SIRIUS channel 93 and XM channel 190.
Series History: Louisville leads the all-time series 18-12 (11-2 in Louisville, 4-7 at Notre Dame, 3-3 neutral).
Officials: Pat Driscoll, Michael Stephens, Tim Clougherty
Next UofL Game: March 14, BIG EAST Quarterfinals, Madison Square Garden, New York, N.Y.