The #5 seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish will begin their road to the Final Four on Thursday March 16th at 12:15 PM when they take on the #12 seeded Princeton Tigers at the KeyBank Centre in Buffalo, NY.
Notre Dame is coming off a loss in the ACC tournament finals against the Duke Blue Devils, who made a late push to put the Irish out of reach of their second ACC title.
Regardless of the outcome, the Irish are going dancing, and have been seeded in the West Region.
The quadrant includes teams such as the Gonzaga Bulldogs at the #1 seed, who dominated the West Coast Conference, finishing the season with a 32-1 record, and the Arizona Wildcats, who came away victorious in the Pac 12 tournament final.
“Thrilled to be back in this thing again (NCAA Tournament) and we are kind of making it an annual event, which is what you want your program to be doing” said Coach Mike Brey right after Selection Sunday. “To not sweat on Selection Sunday, which we haven’t in a long long time, is good for the blood pressure and the hair line”.
Up until the 2016-17 season, the Ivy League was the only conference to not hold their own tournament prior to Selection Sunday. At season’s end, the team with the best record would be the one with a ticket to the Big Dance.
Since we complain all the time that conference tournaments can end up sending an average team instead of their strongest into the field of 68, you would think the Ivy would have preferred to keep its long-standing selection method.
By halftime on Saturday night, the Penn Quakers had received word they would control their own destiny.
Thanks to a Columbia loss and Cornell and Princeton both winning big, all the Quakers needed was a win against Harvard to clinch their first ever Ivy League Tournament berth.
On Senior Night, with the game knotted up at 72, Jackson Donahue flashed to the right wing and drained a three with 6.3 seconds left. After the team failed to logically foul the Crimson, Siyani Chambers set up sophomore guard Corey Johnson, a 43 percent shooter from distance, but his shout bounced off the front of the rim and out.
Teams gear up and make a run at Princeton. Matt Morgan gets a new sidekick. Chris Lewis is headed to Dartmouth.
High transfer rates give college basketball plenty of player turnover each season. A whopping forty percent of men’s college basketball Division I athletes leave or switch schools before the end of their sophomore year. So, seeing players in different jerseys year-to-year is starting to become the norm.
but, it also raises a hypothetical question. What if teams could actually swap players mid-season?
Well, it would allow for a late NCAA Tournament push, or, more generally, movement of assets to orient for future seasons. NBC Sports’ Rob Dauster muses about this annually before the NBA trade deadline.