Posted February 08, 2013 on AP on Fox
Louisville and Notre Dame have had a knack for playing tight games in recent years, and Rick Pitino expects no different this time around. The No. 11 Cardinals seek their first victory in South Bend in four tries as they visit the 25th-ranked Fighting Irish on Saturday night. Louisville's 64-50 victory over Notre Dame in the semifinals of last season's Big East tournament was more of a surprise due to the margin of victory, ending a streak of four straight meetings that went into overtime. The Cardinals and Irish split those matchups, with each winning a double-OT battle. Pitino expects Louisville (19-4, 7-3) to get another tough test at the Joyce Center, where it has dropped each of its three visits by an average of 19.7 points since joining the Big East in 2005. Its last victory in South Bend, Ind., was an 85-82 overtime win Feb. 26, 1994. "Notre Dame has a great home-court advantage, one of the best in college basketball," Pitino said. "We've been in some really, really tight ball games with Notre Dame, a lot of exciting ones, and this should be another exciting one." The Cardinals seemingly have gotten back on track since a three-game losing streak from Jan. 19-26, earning a third straight victory with Wednesday's 68-48 win at Rutgers. ''I think we have a long ways to go still,'' senior guard Peyton Siva said. ''This is the Big East and you can go on a three-game losing streak whenever. We just got to continue to keep our heads straight and focus on the next game.'' Wednesday marked the sixth time they've held an opponent to fewer than 50 points and the 14th instance the opposition has shot less than 40 percent. Pitino has used a multitude of defensive schemes to slow down opponents as Louisville has played efficient man-to-man and zone defenses while mixing in full-court pressure. Opponents are scoring 53.3 points per game while shooting 37.8 percent from the field over its last four. "Whatever defense you play, it's really about understanding the strengths of the other team," Pitino said. "The scouting report has a lot to do with defense." Offensively, sophomore Wayne Blackshear hit 7 of 11 shots and scored a career-best 19 points in only 14 minutes Wednesday as the rest of the team shot only 38.6 percent. ''The last hurdle for him was putting the ball on the deck and getting better with his handle so he can run picks and rolls," Pitino said. "Once he gets that, look out. He is going to be a hell of a player.'' Notre Dame possesses some talent, too, led by leading scorer Jack Cooley, who is averaging 14.8 points and a Big East-best 11.3 rebounds, ranking fifth in the nation in that category. He scored 10 points and added 11 boards for his fifth double-double in six games Monday, though the Irish (18-5, 6-4) set season worsts for points scored and field goal percentage (34.6) in a 63-47 loss at No. 9 Syracuse. Notre Dame ranks seventh in the country committing only 10.4 turnovers per game after finishing with 12 versus the Orange, though coach Mike Brey said it seemed worse. ''It feels like we had 20-something turnovers,'' Brey said. ''We fought, we battled, we tried. But we needed to get into a better scoring rhythm." The Irish have split their last four home games after winning their first 11.

Pitino has FIU on pace for winning record

MIAMI (AP) -- The last time Florida International finished with a winning record, Richard Pitino was in high school. He's now the Panthers' first-year coach. And already, the son of famed Louisville coach Rick Pitino has FIU showing signs of a turnaround. Winners of nine of their last 12, the Panthers take a 13-10 record into a Sun Belt game at North Texas on Saturday night...

Richard Pitino has FIU pointed toward winning mark

(Eds: Updates.) By TIM REYNOLDS AP Sports Writer Richard Pitino second-guesses himself after every game. He anguishes over the mistakes he makes on the Florida International sideline, then reviews them repeatedly in an effort to get better. Fortunately for the Panthers, their first-year coach seems to be making plenty of right decisions. For the first time in 13 seasons, FIU might...

A Bried And Obvious Point About College Basketball

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Louisville Is 4-2 All Time On College Gameday

Since the folks over at ESPN launched its weekly “College Gameday” broadcast back in 2005, Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals have played in six College Gameday matchups. They’re 4-2 all time and have won their last two. Feb. 26, 2005 – #11 Louisville at Memphis: Win, 53-44 Jan. 21, 2006 – #3 UConn at #17 Louisville: Loss, 58-51 Feb. 18, 2006 - Louisville at Syracuse...

UMKC Reportedly Interested In Louisville Assistant Kareem Richardson

Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports reports that sources have informed him that UMKC head coach Matt Brown is expected to be let go at the end of the season and Louisville assistant Kareem Richardson could be “in the mix.” Richardson is in his first year as an assistant at Louisville. He was the top assistant at UMKC during the 2007-08 season. After one year at UMKC, Richardson went on...

Louisville relents after five grueling overtimes

Finally over. Sixty five minutes of frustration, underscoring the incredible luck of the Irish, extending through five overtimes, with Notre Dame finally prevailing 104-101 in five overtimes. ESPN was quick to designate the game as a classic but University of Louisville basketball fans won’t want to be reminded of the ordeal. If they don’t blank it out of their memory banks altogether...

Section 111: Cards Prepare For College GameDay

Louisville basketball faces a big road game coming off of their big “White Out” victory over Marquette this past weekend and a relatively effortless rout of Rutgers last night. The effort and margin of victory in both games was on par with expectations as the Cards begin to turn it up a notch down the stretch. Before we get any further, let’s rewind a bit and take a look at...
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