McGee finished with a season-high 16 points as the Cardinals (23-5, 14-2 Big East) kept their hopes for a conference title alive by suffocating the Golden Eagles (23-6, 12-4), who hung tough despite playing without injured star guard Dominic James for the first time.
Forward Terrence Williams, had 14 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for Louisville.
"We've been fighting a lot," coach Cardinals Rick Pitino said. "These teams have to fight a lot and the guys are doing a great job at it."
Louisville wore white throwback uniforms honoring the late-1960s teams of Wes Unseld, and Pitino drew a roar when he walked onto the floor in a flashy white suit, a tip to the school's "white-out" promotion.
In other games:
* At North Carolina State, Venezuela-native Greivis Vasquez scored 21 of his 33 points in the second half to help Maryland (18-10) beat NC State 71-60. Vasquez shot 13-for-23 from the field, with five assists. By the end of the game he was taunting Wolfpack (15-12) fans and even buried a three-pointer at the horn just to needle them even further.
* At Illinois, Michigan State won the Big Ten championship, holding off a late charge by No. 20 Illinois for a 74-66 victory. Kalin Lucas led the Spartans (23-5, 13-3) with 18 points. Mike Tisdale led the Illini (23-7, 11-6) with 15.
* At Syracuse, Jonny Flynn scored 17 points and Syracuse (21-8, 9-7 Big East) held Cincinnati (18-11, 8-8) to just two baskets in the first 10 minutes, rolling to an easy 87-63 victory.
* At Kansas, Sherron Collins scored 25 points and dished out key assists during an early 18-1 run, and No. 15 Kansas (24-5) stretched its nation-leading home court streak to 40 in a row with a 90-65 victory over No. 11 Missouri (24-5).
* At Rutgers, Weyinmi Efejuku had 28 points and Providence (18-11) survived a late Rutgers rally run to beat the Scarlet Knights (10-19) 73-66. *