NEW YORK – Russ Smith scored 20 points and Peyton Siva added 12 to lead No. 4 Louisville to a 69-57 victory over No. 24 Notre Dame on Friday night, the third straight year the Cardinals beat the Fighting Irish in the semifinals of the Big East tournament.
Siva, the tournament MVP last year when Louisville won its second Big East title, had six assists and seven steals, which tied the tournament record in another solid defensive outing by the Cardinals.
Second-seeded Louisville (28-5), one of the Big East's tri-champions in the regular season, will face fifth-seeded and 19th-ranked Syracuse in the championship game Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. The Orange (26-8) beat top-seeded and fifth-ranked Georgetown 58-55 in overtime in the semifinals.
Jack Cooley and Jerian Grant both had 14 points for sixth-seeded Notre Dame (25-9).