Wednesday night was a bitter sweet night when the Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the Boston College Eagles. On one hand the Fighting Irish solidified their spot in the double bye club in the up and coming ACC tournament and are still in the hunt to share the regular season title with North Carolina.
The Irish also won their 12th league game and sent seniors Steve Vasturia and VJ Beachem out with a win; something the two of them both deserved considering what they accomplished in their Notre Dame career.
“Couldn’t have script it any better”, said Head Coach Mike Brey following the game. “Two seniors have fun, you can take them out of the game to a standing ovation with a minute and a half left…certainly a great way to finish our season in front of our home crowd”.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish had a tremendous start to their ACC campaign that included big wins against Syracuse, Miami, Pittsburgh, and Louisville.
However, the Irish have run into a little bit of a dry spell, losing their last three games to Virginia, Georgia Tech at the buzzer, and now the Duke Blue Devils.
Notre Dame has to suffered to 6-4 in conference play and have dropped to fifth place in the ACC standings after a long stint in first place. However, with the ACC as deep as it is, the Irish were bound to lose a few games.
In the last few seasons, the Fighting Irish have been victorious in their series with the Blue Devils, winning both games last season, and winning two out of the three games the season before that, including a huge win to advance to the ACC conference championships in which they went on to win for the first time in program history.
Duke currently sits at 6th in the ACC, losing to Virginia Tech, NC State, Louisville, Florida State and an early season two point loss to the Kansas Jaw Hawks. On the other hand, they have destroyed Georgia Tech, beaten a struggling Michigan State team as well as nationally ranked Florida.
One of the nations most scrutinized players, Grayson Allen has been notorious for his unsportsmanlike behaviour on his opponents. The Duke guard is constantly the centre of attention when it comes to college basketball as every game seems to have a new incident of him kicking or knocking down a player. The fans in South Bend experienced it first hand, and Mike Brey was not pleased.
Snider, who is Louisville’s main facilitator, fell hard in the second half of the aforementioned win. The homegrown talent remained in the game, despite the fact, and finished with 13 points, 6 assists, and 3 steals. Thankfully, surgery is not required and he will need only rest and rehabilitation to make a full recovery.
The 6’2″ guard is having a career-season in red, black, and white. Snider currently possesses career-highs in every major statistical category, averaging 12.1 points, 2.6 assists, and 4.0 rebounds per game in 18 games. He is the second leading scorer behind backcourt mate Donovan Mitchell (13.6 PPG) and the only Cardinal to not leave the starting lineup through the first two-plus months.
With Snider out, Rick Pitino will be sans a true point guard and one of his primary scorer. No guard outside of Mitchell is responsible for more than two assists per game while senior Tony Hicks is the highest scoring true backcourt replacement option. Hicks is producing a measly 3 points in just under 10 minutes per game.
Aside from going big and starting four forwards with the 6’3″ Mitchell, 6’6″ freshman V.J. King could be the benefactor of extra playing time. King, a five-star recruit ranked 23rd in ESPN’s 100, has been disappointing in his first collegiate campaign. The swingman has struggled in limited minutes (13.9) and is producing 6.1 points per game on 41.7% shooting.
Snider’s absence is coming at the worst possible time. Last Saturday’s showdown started a three-game stretch that brings Jaron Blossomgame’s Clemson Tigers to the KFC Yum! Center on Thursday and sends the Cardinals to #10 Florida State two days after.
15-3 (3-2) Louisville sits fourth in the ACC, two games behind conference leader Notre Dame.
For the first time in program history, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are 4-0 in conference play after ending the Miami Hurricanes 21 home game win streak, beating them 67-62.
This was the 21st meeting between the Irish and the Hurricanes with the Irish now leading the all time series 11-10. Notre Dame had lost both meetings with the Hurricanes last year, losing by nine the first game and 18 points the second.
Miami has had an okay start to the season as they are now 11-4, losing to Syracuse, Iowa State, Florida and now Notre Dame with their most notable wins coming from Stanford and North Carolina State.
Regardless of their win-loss record, Miami possessed a dangerous and athletic roster capable of ending Notre Dame’s streak.
“They’re really physical drivers” said head coach Mike Brey, “they’re athletic and long”.
After three straight home wins against Pittsburgh, Louisville and Clemson, Notre Dame possessed lots of momentum entering this game and looked to find their offensive spark early.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are now sitting at the top of the ACC standings-next to Florida State-after defeating the Clemson Tigers 75-70 and improving to 3-0 in league play.
This game resembled that of the Notre Dame vs Clemson football game back in 2015 which, like the game in 2015, the Tigers dominated at the beginning but a Notre Dame comeback quickly followed. The only difference between these two games is the Irish sealed the deal Saturday.
This is only the second time in school history in which the Fighting Irish are 3-0 in conference play.
“Great league game” said head coach Mike Brey. “Our will to win and guys that we have with some great mental toughness and fearlessness really delivered at key times, it’s a great trait to have and we are 3-0 because of it”.
With their win over Clemson Saturday afternoon, the Irish improved to 5-0 in their all time series against the Tigers, and 11-0 this season at home.
“Our crowd was fabulous” said Mike Brey immediately following the game. “Our sixth man, they were even better than Wednesday and we needed every bit of them down the stretch”
This was a big game that the Fighting Irish needed to win in order to keep their momentum as they enter a three game road gauntlet that includes the Miami Hurricanes, the 21st-ranked Virginia Tech Hokies, and the 12th-ranked Florida State Seminoles.