SOUTH BEND, In. — With their top two players out and zero wins at the Carrier Dome in over 10 years, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish had a tough match-up against a very athletic Syracuse Orange team, who had wins over teams like University of Connecticut, Georgetown and Virginia Tech in non-conference play.
This will be the first meeting between the Fighting Irish and the Lions, but the seventh between Notre Dame and a member of the Southland Conference. Notre Dame is 6-0 against teams of the Southland, with the last win coming against the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacksin the 2015 NCAA Tournament, where Rex Pflueger tipped in the last second bucket to propel the Irish to victory.
Thursday’s contest will be the final game before the players travel back home to spend the holiday season with their families.
INDIANAPOLIS, In. — Another year is in full swing, and another edition of the Crossroads Classic is upon us.
For the last six seasons, the Butler Bulldogs, Purdue Boilermakers, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and Indiana Hoosiers have all ascended on BankersLife Fieldhouse for a two-game showcase. With two teams from the Big Ten, the Hoosiers and Boilermakers alternate opponents each season. The 2017 edition marks the seventh edition of the event, and it shouldn’t disappoint.
Notre Dame and Indiana enter Saturday’s showdown with identical 3-3 records in the event. The Hoosiers hold a 2-1 edge over the Fighting Irish in their head-to-head match-ups. They last met in 2015, with the Hoosiers scoring an 80-73 win over Notre Dame.
On Saturday, both teams will be looking for a big win that could get them back on the right track after some shaky moments early in the 2017-18 season.
SOUTH BEND, IN – The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will not get much of a break before returning to the court Tuesday night, as they will host the Ball State Cardinals of the Mid-American Conference (MAC).
Notre Dame is coming off a 71-53 win over the St. Francis (BKN) Terriers, a game that saw them lose both Bonzie Colson and Head Coach Mike Brey towards the end of the game due to ejections. Colson was ejected for a flagrant two foul, while Brey was thrown out for disagreeing.
It made for an interesting Sunday!
Ball State, on the other hand, is currently 4-4 on the season, and the Cardinals are coming off of a win against the IUPUI Jaguars, 83-64.
While the Terriers are not the flashiest opponent, the game brought plenty of excitement, as Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey and Bonzie Colson were tossed from the game with six minutes left in the second half.
Sunday afternoon’s game marked the first time in 23 years that Mike Brey has ever been thrown out from a game.
The ejections did not concern the Irish one bit, as they handled the Terriers with ease towards the end. But, what should concern the Irish is the fact that the bench continued to under perform, even against an opponent like St. Francis.
Just as the Fighting Irish were coming off of a tournament championship win, beating the then sixth-ranked Wichita State Shockers, Michigan State also found success in early tournament play, winning the Victory bracket of the inaugural PK80 Invitational against the then ninth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels.
In their game against the Tar Heels, the Spartans showed dominance both defensively and offensively, which transitioned into their tilt with the #5 team in the country Thursday night.
Michigan State threw Notre Dame off their offensive rhythm they showed during the Maui Invitational, keeping them out of the paint, limiting their points on the fast break, and forcing them to take unbalanced shots. The Irish were no better on defense, as their transition defense failed to stop the Spartans, and they were out-manned down low with Michigan State getting too many second chances.
While it is one loss and it came from a team that one could argue is the best in the country, Notre Dame is starting to show us who they really are.
Here are three things we learned about Notre Dame in their loss to Michigan State.