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Friday, May 8, 2015

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Notre Dame prevails in 5OT thriller, Miami handles UNC

Those in attendance for the Notre Dame and No. 11 Louisville men’s basketball teams sat through the end of the regulation as both sides headed into extra time.

Five overtimes and a three-point differential later, the Fighting Irish (19-5, 7-4 Big East) pulled off the 104-101 upset over the Cardinals (19-5, 7-4 Big East) in the longest game ever between Big East opponents.

Despite three starters fouling out for Notre Dame, the Fighting Irish pulled ahead from the resilient Cardinal team on a layup from Eric Atkins to give them a 102-100 lead with a minute, 20 seconds left in the fifth overtime.

Pat Connaughton extended the lead to three points at 104-101 with 10 seconds remaining, and Russ Smith’s last-chance 3-point attempt didn’t fall for Louisville as Notre Dame prevailed in the marathon.

Before fouling out, Fighting Irish guard Jerian Grant paved a path for his team to win the game, despite not finishing the game. With 21 seconds left in regulation and his team down by three, Grant scored three of his 19 points on an old-fashioned 3-point play – a layup with a foul. Connaughton then finished the game with 16 points and 14 rebounds in an exhausting 56 minutes of play.

The newly-ranked No. 21 Irish look to stay hot with a tilt against DePaul on Wednesday. The Cardinals visit St. John’s on Thursday night.

Rocked by Hurricanes

No. 8 Miami had no problem taking care of North Carolina on Saturday with an 87-61 victory.

The Atlantic Coastal Conference has always been a tough conference to win in, especially for the No. 8 Miami men’s basketball team, which ranked last in the conference just three years ago.

Well, after crushing a popular North Carolina team, 87-61, it’s safe to say that the Hurricanes (19-3, 10-0 ACC) are going to be just fine this year.

Right from the opening tip, the Hurricanes (19-3, 10-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) proved too much for the Tar Heels (16-7, 6-4 ACC), as Miami started the game on a 9-0 run before UNC finally got on the scoreboard about two minutes gone into the game. It didn’t prove to be a turning point, however, as the Hurricanes took over the first half, 44-27.

Miami guard Shane Larkin took over the game, scoring a team-high 18 points and nine assists. Right behind him were teammates Durand Scott and Kenny Kadji, as both of them recorded 17 points and six rebounds apiece.

The Tar Heels didn’t put up much of a fight in the second half, as they never trailed by less than 20 for the final 17 minutes.

Reggie Bullock contributed 14 points and seven rebounds on a 5-for-8 shooting performance for UNC.

The Hurricanes take on Florida State on Wednesday, while the Tar Heels looks to get back on track against rival No. 2 Duke.

Indiana Still No. 1

After losing a close game at Illinois, some might have thought No. 1 Indiana was destined to lose its top-ranking. However, the Hoosiers (21-3, 9-2 Big Ten) maintained its top spot as Cody Zeller and company defeated No. 10 Ohio State, 81-68, on Sunday night.

Despite the 13-point defeat, the Buckeyes (17-6, 7-4 Big Ten) kept it close, trailing as few as four points with 16:28 to go in the game. However, the Hoosiers pulled away with a 10-2 run to take a 53-41 advantage.

Zeller, Christian Watford and Victor Oladipo combined for 70 of the team’s 81 points.

Indiana battles Nebraska on Wednesday and Ohio State travels to Northwestern on Thursday night.

Tom Mulherin can be reached at tmulheri@student.umass.edu.

 

 

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