Notre Dame Men's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
ACC (29-5, 14-4)


Before the season began, most expected Notre Dame to be a middle of the pack team in the ACC and on the fringes of the NCAA Tournament. The Fighting Irish have certainly exceeded those expectations. Coach Mike Brey’s squad got off to a great start, going 13-1 in non-conference play. That included wins over Umass, Michigan State and Purdue. ACC action has been a bit more up and down. The Irish beat North Carolina and Duke, but also lost to the Blue Devils by 30.

Big Wins: 1/5 at North Carolina (71-70), 1/28 Duke (77-73), 3/4 at Louisville (71-59)
Bad Losses: 11/23 vs Providence (74-75), 1/31 at Pittsburgh (72-76), 2/24 Syracuse (60-65)
Coach: Mike Brey

Why They Can Surprise:
Notre Dame is one of the most efficient offensive teams in the country. Not only do they score 78.9 points per game, but they also shoot an amazing 51 percent from the floor. Most teams that shoot anywhere close to that well from the floor stay in the paint. That is not true at all of the Fighting Irish; they connect on nearly 8.5 three-pointers per game and shoot 39 percent from beyond the arc. Point guard Jerian Grant is the team’s top scorer and an amazing floor leader. He is a capable shooter from long range, but the impressive team shooting percentage is mostly because of Pat Connaughton, Demetrius Jackson, Steve Vasturia and V.J. Beachem. Connaughton, a 6-5 wing, is more than a great shooter; he is also the team’s top rebounder and an impressive all-around player.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Even though Connaughton is a strong rebounder and Zach Auguste is a solid interior player, the Irish are not that strong on the glass. The starters on the perimeter, who rarely leave the game, do not help too much on the glass and that puts a lot of pressure on Connaughton and Auguste. Both bench players who see important minutes are forwards, but Beachem is a lanky shooter and Bonie Colson is just 6-5 and a freshman. Against strong rebounding teams with a couple of tough frontcourt players, Notre Dame can run into trouble.

Probable Starters:
Jerian Grant, Senior, Guard, 16.8 ppg, 6.6 apg
Demetrius Jackson, Sophomore, Guard, 12.5 ppg, 2.9 apg
Steve Vasturia, Sophomore, Guard, 9.7 ppg, 1.7 apg
Pat Connaughton, Senior, Guard, 12.8 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.5 apg
Zach Auguste, Junior, Forward, 12.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
V.J. Beachem, Sophomore, Forward, 6.6 ppg
Bonzie Colson, Freshman, Forward, 5.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 78.9 (12th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 65.3 (143, 8)
Field-Goal Percentage: 51.0 (2, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.4 (145, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.4 (24, 1)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 39.0 (24, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.8 (47, 2)
Rebound Margin: 0.5 (174, 12)
Assists Per Game: 15.2 (32, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 9.2 (3, 1)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2013    NCAA    Second Round loss to Iowa State
2012    NCAA    Second Round loss to Xavier
2011    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Akron
2011    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Florida State
2010    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Old Dominion
2009    NIT    First Round win over UAB
2009    NIT     Second Round win over New Mexico
2009    NIT    Quarterfinal win over Kentucky
2009    NIT     Semifinal loss to Penn State
2008    NCAA    Round of 64 win over George Mason
2008    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Washington State
2007    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Winthrop

*all team stats through 3/8


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules