Notre Dame basketball: Irish remain unbeaten in ACC with win over Louisville

Notre Dame basketball took down No. 9 Louisville on Wednesday to remain unbeaten in league play.

23 Notre DameFighting Irish

77

9 LouisvilleCardinals

70

The No. 23 Notre Dame Fighting Irish toppled the No. 9 Louisville Cardinals, 77-70, in South Bend on Wednesday evening.

The Fighting Irish used a quick start to jump out to a 17-7 lead at the under-12 media timeout. Steve Vasturia quickly got things going with a 3-pointer, and forwards Bonzie Colson and Austin Torres made their presence known by grabbing offensive rebounds and finishing easy lay-ins in the paint.

Throughout the evening the Cardinals would threaten to change the course of the game by tying the score, though they were ultimately unable to take the lead. They were paced by Donovan Mitchell who scored 20, but made just two of his 10 3-point attempts. Quentin Snider added 12 on 3-of-7 from downtown, while Deng Adel chipped in 10.

With just two minutes to go in the ballgame, a foul on Notre Dame’s Matt Farrell put Snider on the line with the chance to take the lead. He made 1-of-2 free throws to tie the game, and Louisville never truly had another chance to complete the comeback.

Vasturia’s runner with 22 seconds on the game clock put Notre Dame up by five, and they would hit all four of their free throws for the remainder of the game to finish off the Cardinals.

Louisville’s 0-2 start in the ACC, contrasted by Notre Dame’s 2-0 start, is indicative of how unpredictable the ACC is this season. This is why many feel that the ACC is the toughest conference in college basketball. Talent-rich Duke can fall to Virginia Tech by 14, and highly-ranked UNC can get blown out by a Georgia Tech squad which had, up until that game, struggled to pose any kind of offensive threat.

Notre Dame, who was unranked to begin the season, put together a complete game against one of the best teams in the nation even though they weren’t expected to finish in the top six of the conference by Bleacher Report or the Associated Press. Now, the Irish find themselves in second place in their conference (behind FSU), while Louisville sits in dead last as the only team yet to win a conference matchup.

But, there is a lot of basketball to be played. Notre Dame looks to continue their hot start on Saturday as they host the Clemson Tigers before heading down to Miami to take on the 11-3 Hurricanes. Louisville will travel to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech before returning home for a matchup with the University of Pittsburgh. They will need to win both of those games in order to right the ship before a highly-anticipated game against the No. 8 Duke Blue Devils.

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