Blue and Gold Illustrated

April 2017

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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48 APRIL 2017 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED MEN'S BASKETBALL BY MATT JONES N otre Dame was a few minutes and a couple shots away from winning its second Atlantic Coast Conference champion- ship in three years. A 75-69 loss to Duke in the league tournament title game ended those dreams, but there was no time to dwell on the defeat as the Irish looked toward NCAA Tournament play. According to junior point guard Matt Farrell, that Duke loss at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. — in which the Irish led by eight points in the second half — can "ab- solutely" be a motivator entering the Big Dance. "It's not a good feeling, so we can remember how it feels after that loss," Farrell said. "It wasn't easy. We've got to learn from it and use it as motivation." Unlike last year, when Notre Dame set new season lows in points in three of the final four regular-season games, this year's group appears to be finding its groove. Notre Dame received a No. 5 seed in the West region and was slated to face No. 12 seed Princeton March 16 in Buffalo, N.Y. A win over the Tigers would result in a second-round game versus No. 4 seed West Virginia or No. 13 seed Bucknell March 18. The players said after the bracket was unveiled that they are playing their best basketball of the season — evidenced by ACC Tournament wins over Virginia and Florida State, two teams seeded higher than the Irish in the NCAA Tournament. "We learned a lot about ourselves and we learned what we need to do better," said Farrell, who head coach Mike Brey said took the Duke loss the hardest. "That's what you've got to do in a situation like that. We played really well, gave ourselves 2016-17 NOTRE DAME MEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE Date Opponent (TV) Result/Time (ET) Nov. 1 Mercy! W, 119-58 Nov. 7 Catholic! W, 103-48 Nov. 12 Bryant W, 89-64 Nov. 16 Seattle W, 92-49 Nov. 18 Loyola (Md.) W, 83-48 Nov. 21 vs. Colorado# W, 89-83 Nov. 22 vs. Northwestern# W, 70-66 Nov. 26 Chicago State W, 91-60 Nov. 29 Iowa& W, 92-78 Dec. 4 North Carolina A&T W, 107-53 Dec. 6 IPFW W, 87-72 Dec. 10 vs. Villanova% L, 74-66 Dec. 17 vs. Purdue^ L, 86-81 Dec. 19 Colgate W, 77-62 Dec. 28 St. Peter's W, 63-55 Dec. 31 at Pittsburgh* W, 78-77 Jan. 4 Louisville* W, 77-70 Jan. 7 Clemson* W, 75-70 Jan. 12 at Miami* W, 67-62 Jan. 14 at Virginia Tech* W, 76-71 Jan. 18 at Florida State* L, 83-80 Jan. 21 Syracuse* W, 84-66 Jan. 24 Virginia* L, 71-54 Jan. 28 at Georgia Tech* L, 62-60 Jan. 30 Duke* L, 84-74 Feb. 4 at North Carolina* L, 83-76 Feb. 7 Wake Forest* W, 88-81 Feb. 11 Florida State* W, 84-72 Feb. 14 at Boston College* W, 84-76 Feb. 18 at NC State* W, 81-72 Feb. 26 Georgia Tech* W, 64-60 Mar. 1 Boston College* W, 82-66 Mar. 4 at Louisville* L, 71-64 Mar. 9 vs. Virginia$ W, 71-58 Mar. 10 vs. Florida State$ W, 77-73 Mar. 11 vs. Duke$ L, 75-69 Mar. 16 vs. Princeton+ (CBS) 12:15 p.m. ! Exhibition; # Legends Classic in Brooklyn, N.Y.; & ACC-Big Ten Challenge; % Never Forget Tribute Classic in Newark, N.J.; ^ Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis; * ACC game; $ ACC Tournament at Brooklyn, N.Y.; + NCAA Tournament first round in Buffalo, N.Y. Onward March Notre Dame heads into NCAA Tournament play after narrowly falling in the ACC title game Head coach Mike Brey's program has now qualified for the NCAA Tournament in seven of the last eight years. PHOTO BY JOE RAYMOND

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