Notre Dame Fighting Irish: 18-13, 8-10 in the ACC

Head coach: Mike Brey (18th season)

Players to watch: Bonzie Colson (20.9 PPG, 10.6 RPG); Matt Farrell (16.8 PPG,  5.3 APG); T.J. Gibbs (15.6 PPG, 41.1 3PT%) 

Season recap: One of the early favorites to contend in the ACC, the Fighting Irish made a brief appearance at No. 5 in the nation after winning the Maui Invitational in November and were rolling along until preseason ACC Player of the Year and first-team All-American Bonzie Colson went down with a broken foot at the start of January.

The loss of the 6-foot-6 senior forward was too much to withstand, as Notre Dame lost seven straight games in ACC play while starting point guard Matt Farrell and freshman forward D.J. Harvey also missed time due to injury. But Colson returned to the floor after missing 15 games for Senior Night last week in a victory against Pittsburgh, and the Fighting Irish gave No. 1 Virginia all it could handle on the road in a 62-57 loss to wrap up the regular season, led by Colson's 24 points and 15 rebounds.

What Colson lacks in size, he makes up for in smarts with an innate ability to establish good rebounding position and create enough space to get a shot off against any defender. 

With Notre Dame finally at full strength for the first time since the very beginning of conference play, it will likely be the most dangerous No. 10 seed the ACC tournament has ever seen, and a couple of wins in Brooklyn would make the team's body of work very difficult for the NCAA tournament selection committee to evaluate come Selection Sunday.

How they make a run: With a will to play in one more NCAA tournament to finish his career, Colson puts the Fighting Irish on his back, leading them to at least three wins—including an upset of No. 2 seed Duke in the quarterfinals—to become the first team ever to advance all the way to the weekend after playing on Tuesday since the ACC expanded to 15 teams.