Cards headed back to the Big East title game

NEW YORK - The University of Louisville men's basketball team is headed back to the Big East Conference title game for the fourth time in five years with a victory 69-57 over Notre Dame on Friday night in Madison Square Gardens.

The Cardinals won the title last season and also in 2009 and will get another chance Saturday night in a game against Syracuse at 8:30 p.m.

Eight of the previous 14 meetings between U of L and Notre Dame had gone into overtime. But this one Russ Smith and Peyton Siva took care of early.

The Cards never trailed but it wasn't until the final few minutes when they could pull away.

Siva, who set the school's all-time career steals record, had 12 points, seven steals, six assists and three rebounds.

Smith had 20 points and six assists, while Luke Hancock hit all three of his three-pointers and finished with nine points.

U of L is now 28-5 on the season and have won nine in a row.

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