LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Peyton Siva and Gorgui Dieng added another major achievement to their impressive legacy at Louisville.
Siva and Dieng, who helped the Cardinals win the Big East tournament and advance to the Final Four last season, played key roles Saturday in a 73-57 victory over No. 24 Notre Dame that gave Louisville a share of the regular-season conference title.
Dieng had 20 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks, and Siva posted 13 points and five assists in his final home game for the Cardinals (26-5, 14-4 Big East), who finished tied for first place with Georgetown and Marquette.
Louisville receives a bye into Thursday’s quarterfinals at the Big East tournament, where coach Rick Pitino’s team will defend its 2012 championship.
It really was a storybook ending for the two guys playing tonight, Pitino said.
When Louisville played at Notre Dame a month ago it took five overtimes before the Fighting Irish won 104-101 in the longest regular-season game in Big East history.
Garrick Sherman led Notre Dame (23-8, 11-7) with 14 points. The Fighting Irish will play Wednesday in the conference tournament at Madison Square Garden.
Louisville shot 67 percent (16 of 24) for its best first half of the season.
We kind of ran into a buzz saw today, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said.
The Irish held the Cardinals without a field goal for nearly 6 minutes early in the second to cut the lead to 45-40 on Pat Connaughton’s three-pointer with 12:42 left. That was as close as the Irish got. Dieng’s turnaround jumper on the baseline with 10:33 left gave Louisville a 49-41 lead and started a 10-2 run.
Louisville never trailed and led by as many as six throughout most of the first half before Siva helped break the game open. His two three-pointers, with an alley-oop assist to Chane Behanan in between, gave the Cardinals a 30-21 lead at the 6:14 mark.
Kevin Ware followed with a steal and layup that put Louisville up by 11, its largest advantage of the half.
Notre Dame had held three of its previous four opponents under 50 points, but Louisville’s strong first half ended any chance of repeating that defensive effort.
Irish guard Jerian Grant, whose 12-point flurry in the final 45 seconds of regulation sent the first matchup to overtime, was held to eight points after scoring 21 in each of his last two games.