LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The final score read 82-78, but the Cardinals needed all 40 minutes of regulation and two periods of overtime to get there.


"It was stressful," Cardinals fan Ray Underwood said. "I guess they call us the Cardiac Cards for a reason."


For Louisville fans, Tuesday evening's victory over Notre Dame was a signal of better things to come this season after the Cardinals pulled off their third win in a row.


"They're starting to get confident, starting to really play team ball and trust each other, and you can see it on the court," Underwood said.


"That's big because South Bend, we haven't won there in forever, six straight times we've actually lost," fan Ralph Rich said. "That's something that even Rick Pitino never got done."


After an offseason of scandal and as fans await news from the NCAA about the university's appeal to the NCAA, which could concern the future of the 2013 national championship banner, many Cardinal faithful are focused on the now.


"It takes that cloud that's been lingering over the program and it kind of makes it dissipate for a little while," Underwood said. "You kind of forget about all the problems that we've been having."


To see why this win is so important, one has to look in the past, all the way to 1994, which was the last time the men's basketball team left South Bend with a win.


"'94, I was 7 years old, so I was probably playing with some action figures," Underwood said.


"I was 3 years old, so I was probably watching my first Louisville game," Rich said.


That game, an 85-82 victory, shared with Tuesday evening's result more than just a check in the win column for the Cards. That game also took some bonus basketball to decide a winner, though it only took the Cardinals one overtime then.


That Louisville squad finished the season 28-6, falling in the third round of the NCAA tournament. Fans hope this year's team can go a little further.


"I'm hoping for at least the Sweet Sixteen, but we'll see when we get there," Underwood said.