Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey has the utmost confidence in his team's offense and the Irish were in position to earn a quality Big East win on the road with a one bucket on Monday night, but they could not convert and went on to lose 87-73 in overtime at Louisville.
Notre Dame trailed for the majority of the first half, but after a back-and-forth second half the Irish found themselves with the ball and the score tied 71-71 with less than 30 seconds to play in regulation.
"You've probably got to win in it regulation on that last possession and get out of town," Brey told the Notre Dame Radio Network after the game.
He was right.
The Irish (12-4, 2-2) played just seven players and fatigue seemed to be factor in the final five minutes as the Cardinals (12-3, 3-1) ran away with the game in the extra period.
After trading buckets to start overtime, Louisville ended the game on a 14-0 run to earn the victory.
Earl Clark drained a three-pointer and Samardo Samuels converted a three-point play before Terrence Williams made an acrobatic shot in the lane to give the Cardinals an 81-73 lead. Andre McGee made four free throws and Clark made another jumper to put the game away.
Harangody led all scorers with 28 points and pulled down 13 rebounds for his 36th career double-double. Kyle McAlarney shook off a slow start to nail five of six three-pointers and finish with 19 points.
Williams led Louisville with 24 points and 16 rebounds while Samuels added 18 points and Clark had 15 points and 10 boards.
Brey was disappointed with the outcome, but pleased with the way his team battled throughout.
"I'm proud of our group. We've got to get some rest," he said. "We're going to play another team who is just as good in just as crazy an atmosphere on Saturday so we need to bounce back and see what we can do in this league."
Notre Dame will play at Syracuse (16-1, 4-0) on Saturday and Brey told his players that he wants to see the same effort as he did against Louisville.
"I love our team," he said. "I said, ‘However you prepared for this one, prepare like that, not only Saturday, but for the rest of the road games, and we'll have a chance."
Notre Dame erased a 41-38 halftime deficit 15 seconds into the second half as McAlarney knocked down a three on the first possession to tie the game 41-41. The Irish opened up a four-point lead on consecutive buckets by Harangody.
Louisville responded, but three-pointers by McAlarney and Ryan Ayers pushed the Notre Dame advantage back to four before the Cardinals went on a run with 15 minutes to play.
McGee knocked down a pair of three-pointers and Williams scored five straight points as Louisville outscored Notre Dame 15-4 over the next four minutes to grab a 64-57 lead with 11:20 left.
But the Irish fought back again and a pair of McAlarney drives sandwiched a Jackson layup to bring Notre Dame to within one, 64-63. Jackson tied the game at 67-67 with 7:25 to play and Notre Dame finally passed the Cardinals after Harangody knocked down a jumper with 7 minutes to play as the Irish pulled ahead 69-67.
After a pair of free throws by Harangody increased the lead to 71-67, he picked up his fourth foul and Samuels cut the lead in half with two free throws of his own with just over four minutes remaining. Samuels then took advantage of Harangody's foul trouble by driving at him to tie the game 71-71 with three minutes to play.
Both teams had shots rim out as the game remained tied inside the final minute and Louisville's Will Scott missed a desperation heave with less than a second after Jackson turned the ball over to play that sent the game to overtime.
Notre Dame was outrebounded by Louisville 48-41, but that was not the difference in the game. Brey may have been disappointed with the result of the game, but not with the maturity that he saw.
"This nucleus as younger guys wouldn't have handled the runs as well here. There's no way especially, that one in the second half," Brey said. "For us to come off the mat on that one, that's what I want to build on right now.
"Certainly there's some things that we can do better, but I think that kind of courage and toughness and digging in and rebounding, if we can do that we'll win our share."
After a tight five minutes to start the game, the Cardinals went off on a 9-0 spurt that gave them a 17-8 lead eight minutes in.
The Irish responded with a 14-4 run that featured a pair of three-pointers from Ayers and six points from Harangody. Jackson capped the run with a driving layup that gave Notre Dame a 22-21 advantage with eight minutes to go in the half.
Williams helped Louisville regain the lead with eight points and an assist over a three-minute span that gave the Cardinals a 34-30 lead with 3:33 to go.
After a slow start, McAlarney made his final three shots of the half – all three-pointers – but Edgar Sosa's leaner with three seconds left gave Louisville a 41-38 lead at the half.
Harangody scored 12 points in the game's first 10 minutes and finished the half with 14 points and six rebounds. Most of Harangody's points came away from the basket as the Irish were outscored 24-6 in the first half in the paint.
McAlarney and Ayers combined for 15 first-half points on five three-pointers.
Williams led Louisville with 15 points, six rebounds and four assists. Clark added 10 points in the first 20 minutes and also pulled down six boards.
The Irish held their own on the boards in the first half, grabbing 21 against Louisville's 22, although the Cardinals did haul in nine offensive boards while Notre Dame had just four offensive rebounds.