Notre Dame Fighting Irish 

2016-17 record: 26-10, 12-6 in the ACC

Head coach: Mike Brey

Tenure at Notre Dame: 18th season  

Career coaching record: 481-239

Home court: Purcell Pavilion 

Starters: F Bonzie Colson, G Rex Pflueger, G Matt Farrell, F Martinas Geben, G Temple Gibbs 

Bench: F Austin Torres, G/F D.J. Harvey, G Nikola Djogo, F Elijah Burns, F John Mooney

Overview:  With 11 straight wins to begin the year, the Fighting Irish didn’t hit many road bumps early in the season. Notre Dame finished tied for second in the ACC and met Duke in the championship of the ACC tournament. Despite an impressive down-to-the-wire effort helped by 29 points from Bonzie Colson, the Fighting Irish fell to the Blue Devils before being bounced by West Virginia in the second round of the NCAA tournament. 

With a balanced group on the perimeter and strength down low, Notre Dame found success with high-low motion a year ago. But after losing two of their starting guards—V.J. Beacham and Steve Vasturia, who both shot better than 35 percent from beyond the arc—this balance will be a little more difficult for the Fighting Irish to maintain. Colson enters the season pegged as the preseason ACC Player of the Year and should help carry Notre Dame back near the top of the conference. 

The Fighting Irish have a few wild cards that could determine where they end up this season. Point guard Matt Farrell made major strides a year ago and could be a candidate to break out with added responsibility this year. Freshman D.J. Harvey enters as one of the most highly-touted recruits in Brey's tenure and could also be a difference-maker.  

One thing that needs to go right: The Fighting Irish get enough help around Colson and finish near the top of the conference behind another strong season by their senior leader. 

One thing that could go wrong: The loss of Beachem and Vasturia proves to be too much for even Brey to overcome, and Notre Dame falls short of its lofty preseason expectations.