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No. 4 Louisville surges past Syracuse for Big East crown

New York, NY (Sports Network) - The last game of the storied Big East Tournament for both Louisville and Syracuse was historic.

Montrezl Harrell posted 20 points and the fourth-ranked Cardinals dominated the second half to down the No. 19 Orange, 78-61, in the championship game Saturday night. Louisville rallied from a 16-point deficit in the second half to win the tourney for a second straight year and third time in the last five seasons.

James Southerland set a Big East tourney record for most 3-pointers made, but when the Syracuse senior forward picked up his fourth personal foul with 15 1/2 minutes left, the game changed quickly.

The Orange were in front 45-29 at the time, but the Cardinals then embarked on an incredible 27-3 surge to take the lead.

Peyton Siva had 11 points and eight assists for Louisville (29-5), which ran its winning streak to 10 games and will likely gain not only a top seed for the NCAA Tournament, but maybe the No. 1 seed overall when the brackets are revealed Sunday evening. Luke Hancock and Russ Smith each had 10 points.

C.J. Fair had 21 points for the Orange (26-9), who will gain an at-large bid.

Now that the conference season is complete, the Big East will undergo radical changes. Seven Catholic schools - DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John's and Villanova - will leave the conference. The new Big East will reportedly have 10 members for next season, those being the Catholic schools plus Butler, Xavier and Creighton.

Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame are heading to the ACC for next season. Louisville will join the ACC the year after.

03/16 23:35:16 ET