Notre Dame, Hansbrough Celebrate Exciting Senior Night (Video)

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Ben Hansbrough

Ben Hansbrough took the microphone after the game, stood at midcourt and started complimenting all those around him. Almost like the Academy Awards. He acknowledged coach Mike Brey, the wild fans at the Purcell Pavilion and his family sitting in the stands. He was most appreciative of his teammates following his final home men’s basketball game for Notre Dame. That’s because he and the Irish made the night a memorable one with their shooting.

Tim Abromaitis hit a career-high nine 3-pointers and he and Hansbrough scored 30 points each as the eighth-ranked Irish routed No. 19 Villanova 93-72 on Monday night. The victory ensured a double bye in the Big East tournament for Notre Dame and wrapped up a 17-0 season at home, the only Big East team to go unbeaten on its home court this season. Abromaitis’ nine 3-pointers were one shy of the school record set by Kyle McAlarney against North Carolina in 2008.

Notre Dame (24-5, 13-4) finished 20 for 32 on 3-pointers. The Irish, shooting 37.7 percent from 3-point range this season, were 11 for 19 in the first half, including 4 of 6 from Hansbrough, to build a 47-27 lead. The Irish led by as many as 25 points in the first half and 32 in the second, sending a spirited home crowd into a frenzy as they made one open 3-pointer after another.

Among those cheering Hansbrough were his family, including brother Tyler, the former North Carolina All-American now with the Indiana Pacers. Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly was in a front-row seat.

Fisher, the Wildcats’ leading scorer who was coming off a two-point game in a loss to St. John’s, led Villanova (21-9, 9-8) with 22 points, 17 in the second half. Plagued again by cold shooting, Villanova lost for the fifth time in seven games in its late-season slump. The Wildcats missed their first seven 3-point attempts and were 2 for 10 from long range in the first half. The Irish wasted little time in taking control as Carleton Scott started the scoring with a 3-pointer, Abromaitis made two from long range and Hansbrough added another in an opening 14-4 run less than 4 minutes into the game.

Here’s video of Hansbrough being honored right before Senior Night:

Here’s the Flipshare of the Senior Night pregame starting lineup introductions. Be sure to watch until the end where the Irish cheerleaders walk right into the shot, as the fight song plays:

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

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

He also does a regular guest spot each week for Cleveland.com and  Chicagoland Sports Radio.com

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