The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are bound to win this year’s NCAA national basketball championship. Well with 200-1 odds according to Vegas.
The seventh ranked Fighting Irish will face the no. 11 Xavier Musketeers in the Second Round of the south bracket in Greensboro, NC on Friday. Notre Dame finds itself in the tourney for the third consecutive and five in the last six.
The blue and gold squad finished a respectable third this season in the Big East this year at 13-5 with big regular season victories over Syracuse and Marquette. Losing star C Luke Hargoody and playing the whole season without their premiere F Tim Abromaitis put the entire season in jeopardy. Thanks to the sublime coaching of Mike Brey and the extraordinary efforts and spirited play of standout players like F Jack Cooley (12.4 PPG, 9 RPG), guard Eric Atkins (12.2 PPG, 3.3 RPG), and Freshman Jerian Grant (12.3 PPG, 4.9 APG) the team not only perservered but now looks to make a run in the tournament.
They will have their hands full against Xavier who are making their seventh straight trip to the big dance. Led by guards Tu Holloway (17.0 PPG, 5.1 RPG) and Mark Lyons (15.4 PPG, 2.7 APG) the Musketeers are a threat from the three point stripe connecting on 35% of their bombs and averaging seven a game. They are just as adept at defending the three only yielding 30%.
I will go against the pick of our POTUS Mr. Obama respectfully and count on the Irish offense to shine and the defense to contain Holloway and company. They will move on to the next round where they will have a very young and hungry Duke team waiting for them. Then they may need some like of the Irish in their quest of a national title.