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    Irish Prepare for Semifinal Showdown With Louisville

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    For the third consecutive year, the Notre Dame men's basketball team is in the BIG EAST semifinals. Tonight, the Fighting Irish will look to win their first semifinal game, when they take on Louisville at 9 pm ET on ESPN at Madison Square Garden.

    This afternoon, head coach Mike Brey and his team returned to the Garden for a stretch and shootaround, working to stay loose before the big game. The Irish spent about 45 minutes at the arena, before returning to the hotel to prepare for tonight.

    It's strange to see the World's Most Famous Arena empty. In just a few hours, it will be packed with thousands of fans, rooting for one of tonight's four semifinal teams or just on hand for an exciting night of college basketball.

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    Before the Irish took the floor, I got a chance to shoot with Father Pete McCormick, Keough Hall rector and Bookstore Basketball star. My performance was less than stellar, which adds another reason to the list of why I hope the Irish get a win tonight - the opportunity to take another crack at the Garden hoops on Saturday afternoon.

    But more than that, a trip to tomorrow night's final would cap off what has been a magical season for the Fighting Irish. You really cannot say enough about this year's team, and the resolve it has demonstrated throughout the season.

    For the Irish to make their first appearance on Saturday night at the Garden, well, that would just add to the memorable story that is the 2011-12 season.

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    Tune in to ESPN tonight, catch the radio call on UND.com and follow along here on Irish UNDerground as the Irish meet the Cardinals in the second semifinal at MSG, set to begin around 9:30 pm.

    - Josh Flynt ('11)

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