Senior guard Preston Knowles scored a game-best 20 points Friday night for No. 3-seeded Louisville Cardinals, who downed No. 2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 83-77, in overtime of a 2011 Big East Tournament semifinal game at Madison Square Garden. The Cardinals (ranked No. 14 in both college basketball polls) advance to play No. 9 Connecticut Huskies, who also earned a 76-71 overtime victory over No. 4 Syracuse Orange Friday, in Saturday's final (9 p.m. on ESPN).
Trailing 46-32 at halftime, Louisville (25-8) rallied and used four-OT points from junior forward Terrence Jennings, who netted 16 overall, to earn its second trip to the Big East Tournament title game in three years. In 2008, the Cardinals defeated Syracuse, 76-66, for their first Big East Tournament Championship.
Notre Dame (No. 4 in both polls) and head coach Mike Brey failed to make the Big East Tournament finals for the first time in program history. Senior guard Scott Martin netted a team-best 21 points for ND, which was outrebounded 41-32. Big East Player Of The Year senior guard Ben Hansbrough netted just 13 points, while senior guard Tim Abromaitis added 16.