Most Irish fans around the country are probably riddled with stress and anxiety right now as we all count the seconds until Selection Sunday. The Notre Dame Men’s Basketball team has fought their way back onto “the bubble” (aka purgatory) after facing a whole lot of adversity and bad luck this season.
After an 18-point loss to Duke in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament, Notre Dame’s tournament fate is in the hands of the NCAA selection committee. A win over the Blue Devils would have virtually clinched a spot in the big dance for the Irish. But hey, there’s no fun in certainty.
It seems as if the college basketball analysts and experts are evenly split on whether or not they foresee Notre Dame making the tournament. Which is expected, given all the factors that affected their season. The selection committee typically has most of the final bracket filled out a week or so before Selection Sunday. There are a handful of teams whose fate remains undecided until the final weekend. Notre Dame is one of those teams.
The Irish got off to a hot start in 2017. They won the Maui invitational and climbed to #5 in the AP Poll. Then, things started to fall apart. They had to deal with injuries to Bonzie Colson, Matt Farrell, and DJ Harvey. This prevented the team from getting into a rhythm and hitting full stride.
Now, Colson and Farrell are back in action, and both appear to be caught up as far as conditioning and team chemistry.
Irish fans are hoping and praying that the committee is able to realize that the current version of this Notre Dame team is tournament-worthy. The current version of this team went back-and-forth with the #1 team in the country, Virginia, on the road. The current version of this team won two games in the ACC Tournament, the best conference in college basketball. In one of those wins, the current version of this team erased a 21-point deficit in the second half.
I believe Notre Dame is a tournament team, but I’m just some Joe Schmo with a clear rooting bias (peep the tweets @Leniart_ND if we make the tournament). Here’s where some of the experts think the Irish will land:
ESPN – Out
CBS – Out
Bleacher Report – Out
SB Nation – Out
Guess I lied about it being an even split. Us against the world. Go Irish.