Notre Dame Survives, Moves Onto ACC Second Round

  • Notre Dame Survives, Moves Onto ACC Second Round

Notre Dame Survives, Moves Onto ACC Second Round

In the 78-70 victory, Tyus Battle went off for 34 points on 10-of-18 shooting.

In that bye, the Hokies awaited the victor of Notre Dame and 15th-seeded Pittsburgh, which didn't win a single conference game this season.

Notre Dame comes to Brooklyn with an 18-10 record (8-10 ACC), but a team that looked as if it could compete with anybody in the country in 16 games (12-4) when preseason All-American Bonzie Colson was healthy enough to play. Kiel was also Notre Dame's starting quarterback. Here is a preview of both programs heading into the matchup and a prediction of the outcome.

Farrell has been Notre Dame's leader in Colson's absence. (15.6), Martinas Geben (11.2) and Rex Pflueger (8.1).

The Wolfpack also beat a Roy Williams-coached UNC team in Chapel Hill for only the second time in Williams' 15 seasons.

Mike Brey and his group certainly have some adjustments to make based off that second half performance. Notre Dame started the regular season 7-0 before the losing streak.

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Added Brey: "I nearly feel that they deserve some good fortune now after going through it all, but we'll need more than good fortune against the Hokies". He played in the team's next game, scoring 22 points and grabbing 17 rebounds against Georgia Tech, but when his foot still hurt, an X-ray was ordered, revealing a broken fifth metatarsal that would require surgery to fix and a screw to be inserted. Virginia Tech was lights out from beyond the arc (14-25; 56.0 percent).

Redshirt-junior forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. T.J. Gibbs (11 points) made two to ease the damage of a 3 by Carr with 49 seconds left.

The team's bench backcourt consists of sophomore guard Tyrie Jackson (3.1 PPG), senior guard Devin Wilson (3.0 PPG) and freshman guard Wabissa Bede (2.3 PPG).

As Buzz Williams first season at Virginia Tech was coming to a close, the Hokies prepared for the regular season finale at Georgia Tech. Had the Hokies held on down the stretch at Miami, they'd be the three-seed in this tournament. "The 6' 6" (generously listed), long-armed forward had been the fulcrum of an Irish team with serious second-weekend aspirations in March, taking 31.9% of his team's shots, the most of any Notre Dame player in almost a decade. Bibbs scored a team-high 20 points while Clarke added 12 points and 14 rebounds and Robinson pitched in 12 points too.

Farrell, Pflueger and Colson carried the offense in the first frame, combining to score 28 points. A missed jumper by Matt Farrell was rebounded by Colson, who was fouled.

"It made us tougher as a group, especially mentally tougher", said Colson, who insisted the only future he is focused on is Virginia Tech, not the National Basketball Association next season.

Notre Dame shot very poorly in the second half versus Pitt, though, and didn't look all that great. In fact, it's been one of the worst.

When the selection committee huddles across the East River this weekend to determine the tournament's 36 at-large berths, odds are good there will be some division on Notre Dame. This should be a competitive game right down to the wire. And so now the conference tournament, which the Irish have entered assured of an NCAA bid the last three seasons, has gone from a prize to a lifeline.