Notre Dame outlasts Louisville in 5OT
by C.L. Brown, USA TODAY Sports
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Louisville and Notre Dame should just agree to start their basketball games in overtime.
For the sixth time in their last eight meetings, they couldn’t settle the outcome in regulation. But for the first time in the history of either program, they needed five overtimes to determine the winner.
The Fighting Irish finally emerged with a 104-101 victory over the No. 12 Cardinals, thanks to five points in the fifth overtime by Eric Atkins. It was easy for observers to appreciate the instant classic — the longest regular-season game in Big East history — they just watched.
It was not so easy for the Cardinals, who still haven’t won in South Bend since 1994.
Both teams are now 19-5 overall and 7-4 in the Big East Conference.
“It was a typical Notre Dame-Louisville game. They just made some incredible shots,” said Louisville coach Rick Pitino, who mistakenly referred to it as a four-overtime game. “…We’ve got to give them a lot of credit because I’ve never seen shots like that, and I’ve been coaching a long, long time.”
Three of the first four extra periods followed the same pattern. Louisville would grab a lead, only to see the Irish tie it late. In the third overtime, Chane Behanan tied the score by making 1 of 2 free throws with 16 seconds left. He finished with a career-high 30 points and added 15 rebounds.
Louisville built a four-point lead with 56 seconds left in the fourth overtime, but Garrick Sherman scored on consecutive tip-ins to force the fifth extra period. The reserve didn’t check in until the second overtime, yet finished with 17 points and six rebounds.
“We’re just disappointed. We had so many chances to win that game and didn’t execute the way we would have liked,” said Luke Hancock, who finished with 22 points before fouling out in the final overtime. “So it is tough to see if it was a good game from somebody watching. It was definitely tough for us.”
Both teams kept looking to make one play that would win the game, and the Irish, leading 102-100, appeared to get … [For more on Instant Classic: Notre Dame outlasts Louisville in 5OT, click here.]