Game Two: Notre Dame Fightin’ Irish vs. Louisville Cardinals

First Half

I swear, Notre Dame has some sort of cloning lab on campus. Every year they have a guy who looks exactly like Luke Harangody, and this season they have two in Jack Cooley and Tom Knight

– Good flow to this game to start, refs once again letting ‘em play, ND doing it on the inside while Louisville getting their points on the perimeter

– Louisville has no answer for Jack Cooley inside thus far, but he is his own worst enemy–has missed a few bunnies already

– Notre Dame playing methodical basketball, not settling for the quick shot, instead working the ball around and finding the open man–very well-coached team

– Coach Brey’s mock turtleneck and jacket combo never ceases to amuse me

– Peyton Siva giving Irish guards fits, he is heads and shoulders above them talent wise. 6-0 Louisville run triggered by Siva, who hit a layup got a steal and a dunk

– Siva with 9 points, 5 boards and 3 dimes already

– ND losing its early game poise. Are now rushing shots and being bothered by Cardinals defense

– Notre Dame just can’t get a good shot. Louisville’s defense shutting them down–still a four-point game, though

– Irish can’t buy a bucket, need to buckle down defensively to close out the half before Louisville runs away with it. Never want to play from behind double-digits in a big game like this

– Louisville beginning to dominate on both ends, Siva with 9/6/5 already–triple-double alert

– Chris Smith (JR’s little brother) hits a three and Louisville is up 35-19, this one could get ugly

– Ugly half for the Irish, near-perfect half for the Cardinals. Stay tuned

Second Half

Irish need a spark offensively, but their guards are overmatched, Brey needs to get creative

– Jack Cooley with the dunk, Irish fans back into it–but Pitino calls a quick timeout. Next six minutes will be crucial for the Irish, need to put a little run together and get it into single-digits

– For some reason, I feel like if Sebastian Telfair had gone to Louisville, he would have had ended up with a comparable game to Peyton Siva

– Siva just toying with the Irish now, kid has been unstoppable

– Cardinals up 21 and not letting up, still pressuring Irish up the court and ND has no idea how to react. Pitino surely saw something in the tape

– Wow, Peyton Siva just had one of the best blocks I’ve ever seen. Chased his man down from half-court and got vertical for the block–ND gets rebound and gets a dunk plus one, 16-point game, 8 minutes to go

– Something tells me the next 7 and a half minutes will be more of a formality than anything

– Further proof on just how much Big East will miss Syracuse: for the first semifinal, Spike Lee and Bill Clinton were in attendance. For the ND-Louisville game, the place is half-empty

– Air ball on one end, goaltending violation on the other, things are getting very ugly for the Irish

– Notre Dame at least trying to make it respectable, 62-48 with a minute left

– Siva with his ninth assist, very impressed with him tonight. Got to the lane with ease and made the right decision nearly every time down the court, also harassed Irish guards on the defensive end all night. Tremendous game all-around from him

– And that wraps things up here at the Garden, 64-50 in favor of Louisville. Tomorrow night’s final will be the Cardinals taking on the Bearcats of Cincinnati at 9 PM. I’ll be down in Long Island for the America East Championship (let’s go Vermont!) by day, and back at the Garden by night for the Big East Final, tough life I know. Follow along tomorrow night as I’ll be live blogging courtside from the Garden. Peace!