Friday, March 16, 2007

Madness. Irish stone cold in Spokane.

Props to Winthrop, who outplayed Notre Dame today in almost every facet of the game. The Irish, a #6 seed who thought they should have been a #4 seed got dropped by a #11 seed who showed up ready to play today. I don't know if it is on the players or on Coach Brey, but Notre Dame looked horrible shooting the ball today. Overall they shot 43%, but were only 3 of 13 from the free throw line. 3 of 13? Likewise, they shot only 22% from 3-point range (5 of 22). Live by the 3, die by the 3. The Eagles, by way of contrast, hit 8 of 22 from deep, and 10 of 19 free throws. Not great, but good enough. Equally galling was the poor rebounding. Notre Dame had 31 rebounds to Winthrop's 40. And to top it all off, the Eagles had 16 assists to ND's 6. The only category in which the Irish significantly outplayed the Eagles was fouls. Notre Dame committed 24 fouls to Winthrop's 13. Way to be physical guys.

So, Notre Dame gets to be part of the NCAA tournament highlight reel all weekend as Winthrop basks in the glow that comes from being Cinderella.

The only good news that I saw in the game was that, despite the poor performance, the team never gave up. They were down by 20 points and came all the way back to briefly take the lead late in the game before finally bowing out. That heart is at least something for a young team to build on next year.

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