No. 6 Louisville and No. 24 Notre Dame produced one of the most memorable games of the season in their last meeting, but the stakes will be higher on Saturday when the Cardinals host the Fighting Irish. The teams engaged in the longest game in Big East regular-season history on Feb. 9 - a 104-101, five-overtime thriller in which Notre Dame overcame an eight-point deficit in the final 44 seconds of regulation and rallied in three of the first four overtime periods before prevailing.
Louisville, which is in a three-way tie for first in the conference with Georgetown and Marquette, has won six straight since and can clinch at least a share of the Big East regular-season crown with a win over Notre Dame. The Irish are 4-2 since defeating the Cardinals and tied for fourth with Pittsburgh and Syracuse. Notre Dame cannot finish any higher than fourth, but remains in the mix for the final double-bye in the first round of the Big East tournament with a victory.
TV: 4 p.m. ET, CBS
ABOUT NOTRE DAME (23-7, 11-6 Big East): The Irish won for the third time in four games against St. John's on Tuesday, but will be without the services of Cameron Biedscheid on Saturday. The freshman forward will serve a one-game suspension after getting into a fight with the Red Storm's Sir'Dominic Pointer, although it did not appear Biedscheid threw a punch. Notre Dame has limited three of its last four opponents to fewer than 50 points, holding those teams to 32.1 percent from the field and 9.1 percent beyond the arc. The Irish also own a plus-44 margin in rebounding over the last four contests.
ABOUT LOUISVILLE (25-5, 13-4): Coach Rick Pitino secured his 300th victory with the Cardinals in Monday's 67-51 win over Cincinnati. Louisville, which holds a 684-330 advantage in points off turnovers this season, has collected double-digit steals in 22 of its 30 games and ranks second in the country with 10.8 per game. The Cardinals have limited their opponents to 35.5 percent shooting from the field and 53.7 points during their winning streak, with only Seton Hall topping 40 percent from the floor or 60 points. Luke Hancock has made at least one 3-pointer in 11 straight games and is shooting 44.2 percent beyond the arc over that stretch.
1. Eight of the last 13 meetings have been decided in overtime, including the last three.
2. Notre Dame has averaged 73.6 points in its conference victories, but only 55.5 points in its six league losses.
3. Louisville ranks third in the country in turnover margin (plus-6.2) while the Irish lead the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.58).
PREDICTION: Louisville 61, Notre Dame 58