Notre Dame survives scare from Princeton

Tricia Pearson
March 18, 2017

Notre Dame (26-9) is the No. 5 seed. #14 Northeastern battled Notre Dame down to the wire with the Irish holding on for the 69-65 victory.

Ang: West Virginia presses a lot, that matchup with them and how hard of an opponent they're going to be?

The brackets lock today at 11:15 a.m. CT, so you have a little less than five hours to finish your flawless bracket prior to Notre Dame and Princeton tipping off to kick off the first round of the tournament. Notre Dame faces West Virginia on Friday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, with a Sweet 16 berth on the line. Mike Brey's squad held off pesky Princeton, though, in Buffalo on Thursday to advance in the West Region. We've got your back. All you want is a chance to play another day. We need guys to be great receivers. A nod toward everyone's preferred "Inside the Irish" writer, Keith Arnold, for taking advantage of the sun in Los Angeles to let me know about the Brown interview. We've got to make free throws, and we can't turn it over. Brey talked also of his team's defense as a critical factor despite the conventional wisdom that the way Notre Dame's offense handles the West Virginia defense will be the pivotal factor. Wilmington got a balanced scoring effort against Virginia's tough defense, with four players in double figures, but the upset wasn't in the offing.

Notre Dame forward Bonzie Colson caused the most headaches for Princeton, leading the Fighting Irish with 18 points and seven rebounds. They'll meet No. 4 Purdue (25-7) who is generally regarded as the best team in the Big 10 (which was very down this year). So I think for us the challenge is just going to be making the right decisions and not rushing. "We just stole wins to get to the Elite Eight (in 2016)".

Given Notre Dame's ability to spread the floor with five ballhandlers - in this sense, the Iowa State comparison is more legit - Huggins understands the gambles of pressure could yield some open shots.

While he and Brey wax sentimental over yesteryear Big East matchups, their players have only known life in the ACC and Big 12. "That's how we were going to escape and we did escape".

The schools have only met three times, with Notre Dame winning the other two meetings. "If we keep playing consistent on the offensive and the defensive end, . we can be trouble".

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The Fighting Irish barely got out of the opening round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament against Princeton. The Irish are now listed as three-point underdogs against WVU, but hold a 7-2 record against the spread in their last nine games.

And Farrell understands that Carter and Co. will try to speed things up and destroy Notre Dame's patience and flow.

"We're not the fastest", Brey said. They're a good team, they have a lot of good movement, but we talked and we communicated. He's a good point guard. And we're going to have to be disciplined with that.

Much of that can be credited to senior Tarik Phillip (9.5 points) and freshman Lamont West (5.9 points).

For the first time this season, he actually had to dip into his ticket allotment (each player gets four for the NCAA Tournament) and find a few more with 15 family members and friends attending. Notre Dame and West Virginia are former rivals from their time together in the Big East Conference. Two games, two down to the wire wins over double digit seeded teams. Now the fifth-seeded Irish - and for that matter, No. 4 seed West Virginia - can matchup on even ground without the sometimes-crushing mentality trying not to lose.

"Jerry West's son is a walk-on".

Watching him against Princeton, he clearly isn't 100% because of that minor injury, but he powered through it to put up 18 and 7 and serve as the only saving grace for the Irish offense in the final quarter of the game.

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