Feb 10, 2013, 3:56 AM EDT
Coming into Saturday’s matchup, Notre Dame and Louisville had gone to overtime in six of their past ten meetings.
Alright, but the law of averages probably tells us we’re due for an uneventful finish, right?
After Notre Dame senior Casey Murdock hit a half-court shot during College GameDay, host Rece Davis ended the show saying, “What kind of omen could this be for tonight?”
Sure, but should we really expect something more dramatic than an $18,000 heave?
A couple hours before tipoff, a few of us got into a conversation in the office about the crazy ending to the 2005 Illinois – Arizona game, where the Illini rallied from a 15-point deficit with four minutes to play.
Ok, but even as I watched the highlights on YouTube, the thought didn’t cross my mind. There was no way the Irish and Cardinals could have a wilder finish, even if Jay Bilas was in the building, like he was eight years ago at Allstate Arena.
Along with many others in the sellout Purcell Pavilion crowd, I was just hoping for a Notre Dame victory. I didn’t care how it was delivered.
For much of the evening, there was nothing too memorable about the hard-fought battle. It looked like a typical BIG EAST game.
With just under seven minutes to play and the outcome still hanging in the balance, our hopes for an upset took a major blow, when Jack Cooley fouled out on what appeared to be a very questionable call.
Notre Dame stuck around, and trailed by just four with 2:30 to play, but without their leading scorer on the floor, the game began to slip away from the Irish, and disappointed fans started heading for the exits.
That was, at least, until Jerian Grant channeled a bit of Reggie Miller magic. While it wasn’t quite Miller’s famous scoring spree against the Knicks in the ’95 playoffs, Grant’s performance in the final minute of regulation was absolutely spectacular – one of the most amazing feats I think any of us will ever witness on a basketball court.
Having not made a field goal all night, Grant hit three three-pointers, and converted a three-point play, scoring 12 points over the final 45 seconds of regulation, and turning a 56-48 deficit into a game knotted at 60.
Notre Dame and Louisville, headed back to overtime. Typical.
Somehow, that was just the beginning.
Eighty-five points and five overtimes later, the #25 Irish celebrated an improbable 104-101 win over the #11 Cardinals in the longest game in BIG EAST regular season history.
We’ll have more to come on the special night in South Bend, but for now, here are Fighting Irish Digital Media’s highlights, as well as the post-game coverage from ESPN.
About In The Paint
Women’s Basketball on YouTube
- Feels good to be Irish! ☘️ https://t.co/s0RGbqr5yA 7 hours ago
- BALLIN' IN THE BLUEGRASS STATE! We are #ELITE8 bound!! 🍀🏀 https://t.co/rkRNx5T8hk 8 hours ago
- 18 assists on 27 buckets. Gotta keep up the team ball for the next 10 minutes! 🍀 #Sweet16 https://t.co/xSAK8gKVtC 9 hours ago
- #ThatJustHappened 👀☘️ Irish lead 65-55 with 4:47 left in 3Q https://t.co/zIIqJBXvkt 9 hours ago
- LIVE NOW on @espn! 👀👇🏽 espn.com/watchespn/inde… 9 hours ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
- RT @NDTheLeprechaun: Let's give the @NDmbb managers some love here !! twitter.com/managergames_/… 2 days ago
- RT @ManagerGames_: EAST SWEET 16 (EXP score as 50% of vote) 3-Notre Dame (51.7%) 7-Georgia (48.3%) gofundme.com/manager-games @NDmbb @ugamb… 3 days ago
- LOOK AT THE FOCUS of Dan Brndjar, one of our senior managers in the running to PLAY AT THE FINAL FOUR! Vote now:… twitter.com/i/web/status/8… 3 days ago
- 🚨🚨Notre Dame Record 🚨🚨 Vasturia - 91-100 FTs (.910) in 16-17. Breaks @rhoover4's .905 in 93-94. Only 2nd +.900 seas… twitter.com/i/web/status/8… 4 days ago
- 7 NCAA wins. School-record 82 wins in 3 years. School-record 97 wins in 4 years. #Legacy https://t.co/OwAUF83y2I 6 days ago
- Baseball. Irish Fall In 13 Innings To No. 13 FSU
- Softball. Irish Execute Excellently In Twin Bill Sweep Of Virginia Tech
- Track. Meunier, Irish Wrap Day One of Raleigh Relays
- W. Basketball. Irish Elite in Historic Victory Over Buckeyes
- Swimming & Diving. No. 19 Notre Dame Has Solid Third Day at Men’s Swimming and Diving at NCAA Championships