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.
MAUI, HI – The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have been crowned the 2017 Maui Jim Maui Invitationalchampions, after beating the Wichita State Shockers, 67-66, coming back from a 16-point deficit to take home the title.
The last time these two programs faced each other was in 2015 during the regional semi-final of the NCAA Tournament in which the Irish came out victorious, beating the Shockers in a close one, 81-70.
It was a game that the college basketball world wanted and expected to see on the last day of the tournament: #13 Notre Dame vs #6 Wichita State; two teams that always seem to fly under the radar, but are among the best in the country.
After a week full of basketball games in Maui, this one certainly didn’t disappoint.
MAUI, HI – The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will face their biggest opponent to date in #6 Wichita State after demolishing the LSU Tigers in the semi finals, 92-53.
The last time these two programs faced each other was during the regional semi-final of the 2015 NCAA Tournament, in which the Irish took down the Shockers, 81-70.
This was a game that everyone expected to happen, but also what everyone wanted as two of college basketball’s great but underrated programs will clash for the 2017 Maui Jim Maui Invitational Tournament title.
Notre Dame is proving they are a force to be reckoned with on the court, behind their big three in Matt Farrell, Bonzie Colson and the emerging T.J. Gibbs, while Wichita State is constantly snubbed every year but have the talent to be a top three team.
MAUI, HI – After opening their 2017 Maui Jim Maui Invitational Tournament with a win over Division II’s Chaminade, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish took on the LSU Tigers, demolishing them 92-53 in the semi-finals.
The winner of this game would go on to play the sixth-ranked Wichita State Shockers in the finals, who punched their ticket earlier Tuesday with a win over the Marquette Golden Eagles, 80-66.
This was only the second-ever meeting between the Fighting Irish and the Tigers, with LSU claiming a victory back in 1990 in front of a then-record breaking crowd of over 68,000, led by NBA Hall of Famer, Shaquille O’Neal.
Notre Dame made sure this game had a different result, and boy did it ever.
MAUI, HI – The 2017 Maui Jim Maui Invitational Tournament is set to begin on November 20th, 2017 with the Marquette Golden Eagles taking on the VCU Rams (VCU) in the opening game at 2:30 PM EST.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will have to wait until 9:30 PM EST to play their first game of the tournament, as they take on theDivision II Chaminade Silverswords.
The other teams that join Notre Dame in their side of the bracket are the LSU Tigers and Michigan Wolverines, who will be playing their opening game against each other at he conclusion of the Irish and Silverswords game. Win or lose, the Fighting Irish will either take on the likes of the Tigers or the Wolverines.
While Notre Dame, Chaminade, LSU, and Michigan highlight the bottom portion of the bracket; Marquette, VCU, Wichita State and California highlight the top, with the Shockers taking on the Bears after Marquette and VCU battle it out.
Before Notre Dame gets started in Maui, we will break down each opponent that join Notre Dame in the bottom part of the bracket.
WICHITA, Ks. — The 2017-18 college basketball season kicks off this week, and the Wichita State Shockers already have a title to their name.
In the six weeks leading up to the 2017-18 season, College Court Report operated its 4th Annual Mascot Mayhem Challenge, in search of the NCAA’s Top Mascot. In a bracket-style tournament, 68 of the top mascots from across the country were randomly selected into four regions, and fans voted each week for their favourites.
The Final Four saw mascots from four different conferences represented. Two familiar faces found their way back to the Final Four, while one newcomer to the challenge advanced all the way to the Championship pairing.
What once started with 68 mascots back on September 22nd came to a close on November 5th, and only one mascot was left standing.
The Championship saw Wichita State’s WuShock square off against Bill, representing the Navy Midshipmen. Both mascots had gained support with each passing week of the challenge, but only one could come away as the Top Mascot in the NCAA.