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March Madness: Big East Tournament Louisville vs No. 23 Notre Dame Start Time, Free Pick

NEW YORK - MARCH 08:   Paul Harris #11 of the Syracuse Orange blocks the shot Luke Zeller #40 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the quarterfinals of the Big East Championship at Madison Square Garden On March 8, 2007 in New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Friday Night in CBB we will see the  Louisville Cardinals take on the 23rd ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the Semifinals of the Big East Tournament. The game is scheduled for a 9 pm tipoff and will be televised live on ESPN.  Currently Louisville is favored by 3 points with the total being set at 118 for the game. The seventh-seeded Louisville Cardinals will attempt to deny the Notre Dame Fighting Irish a spot in the championship game for the second year in a row when the two teams square off in the semifinal round of the 2012 Big East Conference Tournament tonight at Madison Square Garden.

Free Analysis: If history repeats itself, this one will not be over after 40 minutes of action. Louisville and Notre Dame's bouts have gone into overtime in five of their last six meetings. The Cardinals outlasted Notre Dame to pick up an 83-77 victory when these programs met in last season's semifinal round. Then the Fighting Irish returned the favor on Jan. 7 by defeating Louisville, 67-65, in double-overtime at the KFC Yum! Center. Louisville (24-9) came out strong in their quarterfinal round game versus the second-seeded Marquette Golden Eagles and never trailed before earning an 84-71 victory to advance. Coach Rick Pitino has his squad playing excellent on both ends of the floor as his third trip to the title game in four years is now just one win away. The Cardinals were very aggressive defensively against Marquette as they forced the Golden Eagles into a season-high 26 turnovers, but Pitino knows it won't be easy to force miscues against a Fighting Irish team that ranks among the nation's least mistake-prone, averaging 10.0 turnovers.  . Although the Cardinals were held under 40 percent shooting for the sixth straight game, they managed to post 84 points by converting 21-of-26 at the charity stripe. Kyle Kuric and Peyton Siva were both effective versus Marquette on Thursday. Kuric scored a team-high 20 points and blocked three shots on the defensive end. Siva drove the Golden Eagles crazy with his speedy play as he stuffed his stat sheet before finishing with 18 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and four steals. While Chane Behanan and Russ Smith each netted 12 points, Jared Swopshire made an unexpectedly huge impact as he grabbed 12 rebounds in 20 minutes of action. Mike Brey is attempting to be the first coach in Notre Dame's history to win the Big East Conference Tournament. The Fighting Irish (22-10) faced a big time scare on Thursday as they needed to go to overtime with South Florida before they came out on top, 57-53. The very deep and balanced attack of the Fighting Irish makes them very difficult to defend. Although Notre Dame does not post up an overwhelming amount of points regularly, it manages to find enough scoring to pick victories. Jerian Grant and Pat Connaughton each tallied 12 points in the quarterfinal round bout with South Florida. Scott Martin chipped in 10 points and 12 rebounds, while Jack Cooley added nine points. Notre Dame managed to win the regular season bout despite shooting 31.7 percent from the floor and making only 5-of-26 from three-point range, by converting 22-of-29 at the charity stripe. Louisville shot 42.3 percent from the field, but missed 10 of its 27 free throws in their loss to Notre Dame. The Cardinals, who won the Big East tournament title in 2009, are seeking their third appearance in the championship game, While Notre Dame is seeking it's first ever trip to the Big East Finals.

Free Pick: Gotta really like the over in this one. I know that Notre Dame will try and slow the game down, but I believe that the Cardinals can speed up the Irish just enough for this game to go Over. 5 of the last 6 in this series has gone to OT and each one of the last 9 in this series has hit at least 132 points.  Last night Louisville showed how effective they can when they press and push the ball and you can expect the same game plan here. The problem is that when you press Notre Dame they can take advantage in the open spots of the defense cause they have such good ball handlers. Notre Dame does use the Burn offense, but this team does shoot very well and should be able to get their points in this one. This pace will be more of an uptempo game than the Irish are used to, plus this game should be close and that means either OT or FT's at the end.  I'm looking at a game where about 130 points are scored.

MovieBetting Strategies: College Basketball Conference Tournament
Host Marco D'Angelo and Pregame's own Johnny Detroit talk about how important the college basketball conference tournaments are for some teams and also discuss: Conference tournaments are purest handicap of the season and other various handicapping angles.


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