Things could not have started off worse for the Cardinals, as Syracuse began the game on an 8-0 run and were raining threes on Louisville. James Southerland set the Big East tourney record for three-pointers during the game, and he had three on the night. Louisville was colder than ice in the first half, shooting just 25.9-percent from the field, while star junior Russ Smith was held without a single point. The Orange were dominating this game and Rick Pitino's squad was on the ropes. Syracuse went into the locker room up 35-22, Louisville's biggest halftime deficit of the season.
The second half was such a dramatic reversal you would've thought ESPN spliced in a different game, as Louisville mounted one of the most impressive comebacks of Championship Week. They used a 27-3 run to take their first lead of the game at the 9:50 mark, setting up a potentially thrilling finish.The Cardinals didn't stop there, however, and they completely took over the game, forcing turnover after turnover as the Orange collapsed down the stretch.
Montrezl Harrell came off the bench to lead the Cardinals with 20 points and seven rebounds. Smith recovered from the slow half to finish with 10 points, and Peyton Siva dished out eight assists. As for Syracuse, C.J. Fair scored 21 points and Michael Carter-Williams nearly had a double-double, racking up 11 points and nine assists.
With the win, Louisville has likely clinched a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and have proved that they are a force to be reckoned with. They will be a heavy favorite to reach the Final Four. Syracuse will probably stay on the No. 4 or 5 line after choking away the big lead.