ACC Basketball

Irish Survive the Huskies

Just win, baby.

It doesn’t matter how you do it, it doesn’t matter by how much, in the NCAA Tournament…just win and that’s what Notre Dame did. The 3-seed Irish escaped with a 69-65 victory, blowing a late 12-point lead. Northeastern got back to within two and had the ball with 24 seconds left to play. However, with no timeouts, the Huskies struggled to set up a play and after five passes, Jerian Grant was able to steal it away. Two Zach Auguste free throws later sealed the deal.

  • Where was the killer instinct by Notre Dame? Offensively they played great. They only turned it over seven times, dished out 19 assists on their 27 baskets. They hit on 57.4% of their shots, only taking six and making two threes for the game. However, defensively they struggled. Early on, they couldn’t contain Scott Eatherton, as both Zach Auguste and Bonzie Colson picked up two early fouls. Yet, even with the big guys in there, the Irish struggled to keep teams out of the paint for easy shots.
  • Give credit to Notre Dame for not forcing anything on offense. The Huskies made a concentrated effort to defend beyond the arc, so both Jerian Grant (17 points and five assists) and Demetrius Jackson dominated with the dribble drive. Jackson, a former McDonald’s All-American hit 5-for-7 from the floor, scoring nine, but he dished out eight assists to just one turnover. Zach Auguste was the one man who benefitted from the penetration, getting a ton of good looks and easy buckets. He finished with 10-for-14 from the floor, scoring 25.
  • With the Irish’s lack of size inside, we knew the glass would be an issue. Yes, Northeastern is a good defensive rebounding team (9th in fact), but the Irish only grabbed two of their 20 misses. The Huskies out-rebounded Notre Dame, 33-17. The Irish can get away with that against a team like Northeastern, but down the road it could be a problem. Luckily, they get Butler next, who is not known to dominate the glass. They were out-rebounded by 14 by Texas in their second-round game, yet still won.
  • Senior Scott Eatherton finished with a solid 18 points and eight rebounds, but it wasn’t enough, as the 21st best three-point shooting team hit just 3-for-11 from deep. For a double-digit seed to knock off a top-seed, you need to hit the deep ball.

Next up for Notre Dame will be the Butler Bulldogs. It will be offense vs defense, as Butler is 8th in Defensive Adj. Efficiency.

 

 

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