After a nine game winning streak, which started with my visit to Notre Dame for the Syracuse game, the Irish finally hit a speed bump, and lost two games on the road. One to St. John's at the Garden, and one to Georgetown in DC. But these two road losses don't have to matter as long as the Irish secure a win at home, on Senior Day, to Providence. With a win over the Friars on Friday, the Irish can clinch a double bye in next week’s Big East Tournament. Even better than that, the Irish can still finish *third with either a loss by Georgetown at Marquette this week, or two Marquette losses (the Golden Eagles travel to contending Cincinnati before hosting the Hoyas).
[*A third-place finish would guarantee the avoidance of the nation's #2 team, Syracuse, until the Big East Conference Finals.]
Highlights from last year's Notre Dame vs. Providence game:
A double bye is key for Notre Dame because it means that they only have to play three games in three days, rather than four in four. I think this is important so that the Irish don't end up beat-up after the Big East Tournament, and enter the big dance in the best condition possible. As much as I love championship week and the Big East Tournament, I think often times the Big East teams end up tearing each other apart during the tourney, and unfortunately end up entering the big dance tattered and torn. We want to avoid this if at all possible!
In the mean time, the Irish have got to get back on track.
During their nine game winning streak, Notre Dame's grit was very apparent. They either came out early and never looked back, or in games when they started out a little flat, they always managed to dig in and pull out a win. Their control of the pace of the game has been very important as well. Just ask Syracuse.
Cooley vs Syracuse
For a team that was not expected to be much of anything this year, this Irish team has really forced everyone to stop and take notice. Without Tim Abromaitis at the helm, some unlikely stars have arisen, like all-Big East candidate Jack Cooley.
I'm not overly concerned about my Irish. They have made great strides this season, and like each of the other top Big East East teams who have bounced back after suffering head-shaking losses this season, Notre Dame will do the same!
Yep, here we are ... it's crunch time for me as well! This is the final push. Voting ends on March 5th. Please swing by my "Biggest Fan of the Big East" profile and please cast a vote in my direction!! Thank you!!
Cheers & GO IRISH!
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