Notre Dame’s Guard Play Sparks Win Over Wichita St

Guard play was a major factor in Notre Dame’s 81-70 win over Wichita State in the Sweet 16 as Jerian Grant, Pat Connaughton and Demetrius Jackson combined for 45 points, 17 rebounds and 16 assists. ACC Digital Network host Jeff Fischel and analyst Jason Capel break down Notre Dame’s backcourt performance that sends the Fighting Irish to their first Elite 8 since 1979.

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  1. Oh, and ND players won’t make any bold predictions like WVU. I admire Miles’ confidence in his team, but players need to check that in the locker room.

    Thankfully ND players are experienced and smart enough not to give any bulletin board fodder to the other team.

  2. I would love ND to win this game. What a show that would be, a school that does not recruit players who are only interested in jumping out at the first opportunity to the NBA. But a school that insists it’s players graduate and put school first beating a team that’s more interested in the next NC.

    Talent wise, ND will be underdogs. A number of pundits have said ND will be the toughest team Kentucky will face this year (how often can that be said). And if Kentucky beats ND, I really think they have clear sailing to the NC.

    But if ND somehow pulls off the miracle, an NC could be in sight. I really think ND matches up well against any of the 6 other teams. There are no guarantees but they could have a shot for the whole thing.

    But Brey is a smart guy, as are the players. They are smartly taking it one game at a time. No talk of Final Four until they win the next game. If they lose to Kentucky, it will not be because they got stupid.

  3. Student-athletes vs. an NBA farm team in this elite 8 matchup.
    To compound the difficulty, this is the most experienced Kentucky team Calipari has had, as most didn’t do one and done, and returned. Regardless, the sensational seven of ND, each one with a valued contribution game in and game out have done themselves proud. What a glorious return for Jerian Grant, with his amazing assists and unselfish play, as is evidenced by the entire team. How many key drives to the rim for a score and/or free throws has Jerian given this season?What improvement and tenacity from Jackson and Auguste, the incredible D’ and clutch shooting of Vasturia, and the steady important minutes from Colson and Beacham. Then, of course, there’s the leadership of Connaughton, with his rebounding and key threes. And kudos for Coach Brey, cool and collected, who has been praising, guiding and been a steadfast mentor to this remarkable team. ACC champions, elite eight, what a great run! Who knows? These winners just might not be done yet. Go Irish!

  4. What a great game. Again I was nervous when Wichita State started chipping away and took the lead, but like ND has been doing since the ACC playoffs, they settled down and got back to business. In fact, businesslike is how I would describe this team. I have yet to see them get frazzled, though I have seen their opponents get that way. Both North Carolina and Wichita State players looked dejected when ND went on game changing runs. When I saw the looks on Shocker players when ND retook the lead with a vengeance, I knew ND had them, that it was over. I’ve always thought while ND does not have a teamful of one and done NBA players, they always have experience. I’ve waited for years for the Irish to finally exploit that one advantage they have. You see it finally this year.

    Will the road end here. I would love for them to get to the Final Four. This year has already been phenomenal, with the ACC championship and an elite 8 run. Even if it ended there, I would consider this a phenomenal year for the men’s bb team. Can they beat Kentucky? I have to admit, that is a tall order. Not impossible, of course, but Kentucky does have a benchful of NBA wannabee’s. ND is going to have to bring everything they have to the table, they’ll need to be flawless on offense and they’ll need to continue to play good defense. They’ll also need to get more offensive rebounds, and they cannot, absolutely cannot let Kentucky get in a rhythym.

    This is really where our bracket screws us. In any other bracket, the Final Four would have been very doable (not guaranteed, but I’d match ND up against any other of the elite 8’s). But in our bracket, any team wanting to go to the 4 would have to go through Kentucky first. Now it’s all up to ND. Of the elite 8, frankly, I think ND is the only team left with the best chance to beat Kentucky. If they beat ND, I really think Kentucky has an almost clear path to the national championship.

  5. Jerian Grant put on a show last night. He reminded me of Jason Williams (Florida and the Kings Jason Williams) when he was dropping dimes all game long.

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