Notre Dame is really overseeded at #7, pick #10 Xavier

mike brey

Last year, Notre Dame leader Mike Brey was named national coach of the year, and deservedly so. This year, he did an even better job. Because he had so much less talent to work with. The Irish (22-11), picked for ninth in the Big East Conference back in October before star player Tim Abromaitis was lost for the season in November with a knee injury, came on strong to finish third with a 13-5 league record.

It was “Ewing Theory” in it’s finest form, because despite losing the only player with any accolade, the Irish weren’t far off (at least in Big East play) from last year’s squad, which earned a #2 seed close to home after being in the discussion for a #1 seed and ranked in the top 5 nationally towards the end of the season.

Last year’s Irish team looked like they could make a lot of noise in the tourney if their shooters stayed hot. It didn’t happen though, as the Irish choked, and got upset by #10 seed Florida State in the SECOND round.

This team on the other hand, looks likely to go nowhere in the big dance.

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Notre Dame vs. Florida State: Football Powers Clash for Sweet 16 Berth

 ty nash

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Florida State Seminoles have never met in college basketball. They’ve played some classic battles in college football, including #1 vs #2 “game of the century” in South Bend in 1993.

They’ll meet on the United Center hardwood Sunday night, with a NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance on the line. Expect a tough, physical and very defensive-minded game. The Seminoles specialize in defense, and they have their main weapon back in junior forward Chris Singleton. The 6-9 forward is the ACC’s Defensive Player of the year, and a probable NBA Draft pick.

By Paul M. Banks

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Notre Dame Beats Akron in Atypical #2 vs. #15 Game

Ben Hansbrough

It wasn’t a typical #15 vs. #2 NCAA Tournament game, but that’s what college basketball is all about. Especially this time of year. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish won by double digits, 69-56, but they didn’t win by the margin Vegas expected them to.

And it wasn’t easy. They were never to able to get ahead by more than 16, and the Akron Zips cut it to five on two occasions late in the second half.

“It took us a long time to get away from them because they’re old, they’re smart, and they play well defensively, ” Irish Coach Mike Brey said.

“I think we can still use tape as a teaching tool.”

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#2 Seed Notre Dame Looking to Make Noise in Tourney

ben-hansbrough

“Ben is our nuclear weapon in a lot of ways, and Ty is a nice offset to him,” ND college basketball coach Mike Brey told the media this St. Patrick’s Day during his turn at the United Center podium.

When his #2 seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish set to take on the #15 seed Akron Zips tomorrow in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, I guess point center Tyrone Nash would be the precision missile or the smart bomb to Ben Hansbrough’s nuclear blast.

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Notre Dame Winning with 3 Cs: Confidence, Cohesion, Chemistry

mike_brey

Given what was expected of Notre Dame this year, versus what they’ve produced, it’s time to talk about Fighting Irish leader Mike Brey as possible conference coach of the year. He has two Big East coaching awards already (’07, ’08), but this could be the best coaching job he’s ever done.

A so-called rebuilding year has turned into a 21-4, top ten nationally ranked season. ND has won its last seven Big East games, matching the second-longest Big East regular-season win streak in program history.

Their overtime win over #15 Louisville this past week conveyed all that has been going right for ND this year.

“The whole team brought a lot of confidence,” said star guard Ben Hansbrough.

“Especially when I had that rebound and I dropped it. It was great to see my guys will their way back into it and continue to fight.”

By Paul M. Banks

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Notre Dame Routs USF: Notes and Numbers

notre-dame_big east

Notre Dame is off to its best start in 30 years in men’s college basketball and gaining confidence with every victory. The eighth-ranked Fighting Irish too their seventh straight Saturday, routing runt of the Big East litter South Florida 78-55 with a balanced scoring attack led by Jack Cooley’s career-high 18 points.

The strong start is the program’s best since the 1980-81 season. The Irish can match their best-ever record through 14 conference games (11-3 in 2000-01) by winning at No. 25 West Virginia next Saturday.

For those of you unaware, Cooley is nicknamed “Baby Gody” because of the fact that he has the same haircut and looks a lot like the just departed Luke Harangody.

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Scott Martin a Key Addition to Notre Dame Resurgence

scott-martin

In the offseason, the talk around the college basketball program in South Bend was all about personnel losses -most notably Tory Jackson and Luke Harangody- not new additions.

But today Notre Dame’s 21-4 record signifies the best 25-game start under head coach Mike Brey. It’s the first time the Irish have won at least 21 of their first 25 games since the 1980-81 campaign. Notre Dame’s 10-3 Big East record matches the best 13-game start in Big East play in program history. The Irish have secured their second straight 10-win Big East campaign and it’s the seventh time (in 11 seasons) under Brey that Notre Dame has notched at least 10 league victories.

A big reason is Scott Martin, a Purdue transfer who missed the last two seasons, one from NCAA mandated transfer protocol, and a second year from a knee injury. Martin is a 6-8 senior who sees most of his 27 minutes a game at guard.

By Paul M. Banks

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