A very disappointing basketball season ended Wednesday night with yet another very disappointing loss. Notre Dame fell to West Virginia in the 2nd round of the Big East Tournament to fall to 18-14 on the season thus officially bursting their bubble. The Irish had slim tournament hopes before the Big East Tourney began, but a win tonight would have at least put the Irish at 19-13 overall and 9-10 in the Big East. An upset win tomorrow would have made the Irish 20-13 and 10-10 in the Big East which would have at least put them back into the conversation.
None of that really matters now that they fell 74-62 to West Virginia. Notre Dame got off to an absolutely dreadfull start and could never fully recover. They made a few runs in the second half, but could never cut the score to anything less than 8 points after being down by as many as 20. The Mountaineers used some suffocating defense and uncharacteristically hot 3-point shooting to build their lead and then made clutch shots after each Irish run.
Luke Harangody finished with 27 points and 8 rebounds, but did most of his damage in the second half once the Irish trailed. Notre Dame couldn’t find a way to get the ball down low to Harangody in the first half while West Virginia built a 36-18 halftime lead. Kyle McAlarney chipped in 17 points, but struggled to find open looks most of the night. Tyrone Nash provided the only real production off the bench and he finished with just 1 point (the only bench points scored by Notre Dame) to go along with his 7 rebounds and 2 assists.
The NIT looks likely for Notre Dame at this point, but after reaching as high as #7 in the country this year, the Irish will be asking themselves what exactly went wrong this year for a while.