Notre Dame notched its fifth straight victory last night with a convincing 68 -57 win over Seton Hall in the second round of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden.

Notre Dame’s big man Luke Harangody proved to be the deciding factor as his 20 points and 10 rebounds off the bench helped destroy all hopes of the Pirates dancing in March.

The next test for the Irish comes tonight as they square off against the no. 16 ranked Pittsburgh Panthers at 7 in the Big East Quarterfinal match up. Pittsburgh, coming of a resounding 83 –54 win over Rutgers, are hungry for revenge. The Panthers, ranked no. 12 at the time, fell to an unranked, Harangody-less Notre Dame squad back in February.

Paced by The Big East’s most improved player and guard Aston Gibb’s 16 points, these cats are dangerous and poised to attack. Guard Brad Wannamaker (12 PPG 4.7 ASTs), guard Jermaine Dixon (10.7 PPG) and Forward Gilbert Brown (10.7 PPG .372 3P%) are also on the prowl. Coach Jaime Dixon’s squad plays best when they share the rock. The team is 13-0 when it notches 18 or more assists.

I predict a very close contest. Notre Dame’s spread-out offense and Luke Harangody will prey upon the Panthers.