By Beau Kilpatrick—
What could be better than a Cardinal Red-Out Senior day? How about filling the KFC Yum! Center to capacity with 22,612 fans and getting revenge against Notre Dame. That’s exactly what happened on Saturday when the No. 8 Louisville Cardinals took down the No. 19 Fighting Irish 71-64.
Check out the video Highlights.
Louisville celebrated three seniors who are ending their college basketball career this season, Mangok Mathiang, David Levitch, and Tony Hicks.
This is actually Tony Hicks’ first year as a Cardinal. He is a graduate transfer from Pennsylvania University who took advantage of an extra year of eligibility to compete in the NCAA tournament under coach Rick Pitino.
David Levitch has become a game changer for the Cardinals, known as the “baby-faced assassin” and for shooting the deep three-pointer. Levitch did not have to travel far to play for Pitino. He is from Goshen, KY, which is just east of Louisville.
Mangok Mathiang has become a beloved member of the Cardinals. He has brought positivity, laughter and always has a smile on his face. That is, when he is off the court. While on the court, “Mango” brings intensity and tenacity to the interior of the Cardinals team. He has travelled the furthest on his journey; born in Sudan, immigrated to Australia, then he came to Louisville on a student visa.
Mathiang had an incredible game in his last time on Denny Crum Court. He recorded a double-double that electrified the crowd and his teammates in their hard fought victory. He shot 18 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and added a steal and a block. With “Mango” leaving, it will be up to Mahmoud, Spalding, and Johnson to fill his shoes.
Donovan Mitchell started the contest against Notre Dame slow, but he slowly began to gather steam as he led all Cards with 20 points and a pair of steals. He also made all four of his free throws in the final 30 seconds to seal the victory.
Watch Mitchell drain a three-pointer Here.
Quentin Snider is clutch. It’s as simple as that. When the game is on the line, Snider delivers. He delivered 17 points and six assists, including 4-5 from three-point land. His three-pointers came in back-to-back fashion and all were made in the second half. Q is the machine that keeps this team together and moving forward. Clutch.
Got to the box score for more stats.
The Cardinals had a phenomenal game against Notre Dame. Louisville shot nearly 41 percent from the floor, 45 percent from the three-point line and 87.5 percent on their free throws. They also dominated the paint, outrebounding the Irish 44-27. These are the types of numbers that coach Pitino needs his team to produce in the tournament if the Cards are going to make a run in March Madness.
Compare teams stats with the full team comparison.
Notre Dame won the first meeting between the two teams back in early January 77-70. However, it was the Cardinals that won the more meaningful of the two matchups. The Irish are a good team and they have played some epic games against the Cards. There is the possibility that the two could play each other again in the ACC tournament.
Take a look at the ACC bracket.
Louisville finished the season tied for second, but it placed them as a No. 4 seed in the ACC tournament. They still achieved the reward of clinching a double-round bye. The Cardinals will begin their tournament play in the semifinals on Thursday against Duke, Clemson, or NC State.
The ACC has proven time and time again that they are the most competitive conference in college basketball. Experts are saying that the ACC could have 10-12 teams invited to the NCAA tournament.
As of now, U of L is predicted to enter the NCAA tournament as a No. 2 seed. They could become a No. 1 seed if they win the ACC tournament or fall as low as a No. 4 seed if they lose their first contest. The ACC tournament tips off tomorrow and the championship is on Saturday.
Louisville’s next game will be on Thursday, March 9, at 2 p.m. They will challenge Duke, Clemson, or NC State in the semifinals. The game will be aired on ESPN.
As always, GO CARDS!!! #L1C4!!!