Notre Dame Football, Basketball News and Nuggets

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-Andy Katz on ESPN.com today suggested  he national coach of the year in college basketball should come from the BIG EAST – and UConn’s Jim Calhoun, Notre Dame’s Mike Brey, Louisville’s Rick Pitino and Steve Lavin of St. John’s as names that should be finalists.

-My vote is Lav all the way! Gotta be the hair.

-Jay Bilas on ESPN.com listed Notre Dame’s Ben Hansbrough as one of his“most-respected players” for this season, saying, “A worker who keeps his head down and keeps coming at you, Hansbrough has quietly joined the front-runners for Big East Player of the Year. He is skilled, strong willed, tenacious and never gives in to fatigue. He just keeps running and keeps competing. He scores and takes big shots, but he is also willing to trail Connecticut’s Kemba Walker around for 40 minutes. Hansbrough does the tough stuff, prepares like a pro and does it all without complaining.”

-And might I add, he’s really “grindy,” just like his brother

tyler_hansbrough

-SI.com ranking of top 50 NFL draft prospects has Notre Dame’s Kyle Rudolph 50th overall.

I always thought Rudolph resembled Landry Clarke on “Friday Night Lights” (a more jock, less nerd version) just like Ron Zook resembles the guy Betty Draper re-married on “Mad Men.” His character name escapes me right now.

-Former Irish #1 men’s tennis player Mike Sprouse has written the just-released book “The Greatness Gap” – with a subtitle of “Personal Strategies to Boost Your Professional Potential.” The foreword is by former Irish football coach Lou Holtz, the afterword by current Irish men’s tennis coach Bobby Bayliss.

-Today’s ESPN Bracketology from Joe Lunardi has the Notre Dame men a #3 seed in Denver against #14 Bucknell, with #6 Texas A&M and #11 Michigan State facing off opposite. Today’s SI.com projected bracket has the Irish a #3 seed in Chicago playing #14 Kent State, with #6 Texas A&M and #11 Butler/Memphis opposite. Imagine the United Center atmosphere is the Irish can secure that #2 seed to stay close to home in Chicago?

-To see where we have the Irish in our bracket projection go here/

-The Notre Dame’s men’s basketball game Saturday against Seton Hall – at which Austin Carr will be added to the Purcell Pavilion Ring of Honor on 2/28 is sold out.

-Alumni, students, staff, friends, family and fans of Notre Dame are invited to Flint Hills, Kansas to pay tribute to the late great Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne on Saturday, April 2, 2011, recognizing the 80th anniversary of the tragic plane crash that took the lives of Rockne and seven others on March 31, 1931.

There will be a program at the memorial marker and crash site starting at 10:30 a.m. Complimentary shuttle rides will be provided to all guests beginning at 9 a.m. departing from the Bazaar (Kan.) Schoolhouse (on Highway 177). Lunch will be served at the Schoolhouse after at noon.

There will also be a presentation led by Bernie Kish, including a showing of the ESPN Classic program, “SportsCenter Flashback: The Death of Knute Rockne,” following lunch at the Schoolhouse. The 80th Rockne Memorial ceremonies are dedicated to the late Easter Heathman – witness, caretaker, guide and historian of the Rockne Crash Site for more than 75 years.

If you are planning to make the journey to Kansas or if you have any questions, email RockneMemorial@gmail.com or call Pat Reis at 612-636-3905.

-ND hoops is 7-1 in its last eight. The only other Big East team matching that mark is Georgetown.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net. He is also a regular contributor to the Tribune’s Chicago Now network, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com

He does a weekly radio segment on Chicagoland Sports Radio.com and Cleveland.com

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

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