Notre Dame Fighting Irish: 23-8, 12-6 in the ACC
Head coach: Mike Brey (17th season)
Players to watch: Bonzie Colson (17.0 PPG, 10.4 RPG); V.J. Beachem (15.4 PPG, 38.7 3PT%); Matt Farrell (14.2 PPG, 5.5 APG, 42.5 3PT%)
Season recap: Notre Dame was extremely streaky during ACC play. The Fighting Irish started off with five straight conference wins, then dropped five of six and finally rattled off a six-game winning streak to earn themselves a No. 3 seed in the ACC tournament. Now, head coach Mike Brey’s squad is likely set to face sixth-seeded Virginia in the quarterfinals, a team that beat Notre Dame by 17 earlier this year and whose stringent pack-line defense provides a challenge for the Fighting Irish offense.
Notre Dame relies heavily on a quartet of veterans—junior forward Bonzie Colson, senior forward V.J. Beachem, junior guard Matt Farrell and senior guard Steve Vasturia—for scoring, as the four are the Fighting Irish’s only players averaging more than six points per game. At just 6-foot-5, Colson leads the ACC in rebounding and often plays as a versatile five in an undersized lineup that loves to space the floor and stretch the defense.
Coming off back-to-back Elite Eight appearances, Notre Dame has plenty of experience in big games and has the offense to execute well down the stretch. The Fighting Irish are an excellent free-throw shooting team, leading the nation at 80.9 percent, and all five of their starters are at 75 percent or better from the charity stripe.
How they make a run: Notre Dame's offense clicks as the trio of Farrell, Beachem and Vasturia get hot from deep, and the Fighting Irish put up points in bunches to make a deep run in Brooklyn.