With the victory, the Hoyas earned the regular-season Big East championship and the No. 1 seed in the Big East Tournament.
The Cardinals, who climbed back from an 11 point second half deficit, missed three chances to tie the game in the final seconds, including a wide open attempt by Jerry Smith with .24 seconds remaining. Earl Clark and Edgar Sosa both missed challenged attempts in the final seconds that would have tied the score.
afternoon but came up short against
the Hoyas, 55-52.
"They played a very good game," Rick Pitino said. "We made some mistakes down the stretch but we got a wide open three with nobody on him. We really messed up on the three that they made. But it was a heck of a game and you can't fault our guys. We're real proud of them. I told them what we need to after losing a championship is learn from it."
After taking a 19-14 lead on Smith's free throw with 2:26 remaining in the first half, Georgetown seized momentum with a 10-0 run to end the opening half and take a 24-19 lead into halftime.
Gerogetown freshman Austin Freeman helped the Hoyas built their 11 point cushion in the opening minutes of the second half. Freeman scored on a layup, hit a short jumper and made two three-pointers to increase the Hoyas advantage to 40-29 with 14:54 to play.
But Louisville refused to fold. A quick 7-0 spurt, fueled by two layups from David Padgett and a three by Preston Knowles, the Cardinals cut the Hoyas lead to 40-36 with 12:07 remaining.
"I think we got after them, we were doing some really good things on offense, we pressured them," Pitino said. "We knew we could pressure them we just gave up two three-point shots. One of our remaining weaknesses is we don't communicate in transition and twice they hit three's on us. And those were daggers."
The two teams traded baskets for the next six minutes until Padgett's two free throws finally tied the score at 48 with 5:00 remaining. Louisville actually managed a one point lead when Terrance Williams hit a three-pointer with 3:37 for a 51-50 advantage.
Georgetown never trailed again after a short jumper in the lane from Jonathan Wallace at 1:40 put the Hoyas up 52-51. Earl Clark then made 1-of-2 free throws with 1:12 left to tie the game at 52.
"It was a whale of a ball game," said Pitino. "They're the champions and hopefully we'll learn from it. It was a good game and taught us a lot. We had to battle a lot of elements and I'm real proud of the guys."
Louisville guards Edgar Sosa and Jerry Smith struggled on the road against the Hoyas, combining for just one point. The two were a combined 0-for-11 from the floor, including 0-for-9 from behind the arch..
The Cardinals also had difficulty at the free throw stripe, making only 10-18 attempts - 56 percent.
Williams led UofL with 14 points. Earl Clark had 11 points and 10 rebounds and David Padgett added 12 points.
Austin Freeman paced Georgetown with 15 points. Roy Hibbert pitched in 12 points and 6 rebounds.
Next for Louisville is the Big East Tournament next week. The Cardinals will be the No. 2-seed in New York and will play Thursday night at 7 p.m.