Notre Dame Men's Basketball 2016 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
ACC (21-10, 11-7)
After years and years of disappointing NCAA Tournament appearances, Notre Dame finally made a nice run last March. They beat Northeastern, Butler and Wichita State before finally losing to Kentucky in an absolute thriller. The Irish were so close to the Final Four and so close to beating the best team in the country to get there. Much of that team has returned so there are plenty of players at Coach Mike Brey’s disposal that have postseason experience and they hope to turn that into another solid run.
Big Wins: 1/16 at Duke (95-91), 2/6 North Carolina (80-76), 2/13 Louisville (71-66)
Bad Losses: 11/26 vs Monmouth (68-70), 11/29 vs Alabama (73-74), 2/20 at Georgia Tech (62-63)
Coach: Mike Brey
Why They Can Surprise:
When a team commits very few turnovers and can connect on three-pointers consistently, they can beat anybody on any given day. And that is what Notre Dame has going for it. The Irish as a team commit just 9.2 turnovers per game, ranking third in the nation. Junior point guard Demetrius Jackson dishes out 5.0 assists and turns the ball over just 2.0 times per game. And the rest of the team does a fine job handling the ball, including Steve Vasturia who, like Jackson, is basically a combo guard. Jackson leads the team in scoring and, while a capable outside shooter, does most of his scoring inside of the arc. Vasturia is more of a pure shooter. Wing V.J. Beachem is the most prolific and consistent outside shooter on the team and Coach Mike Brey has 6-8 freshman Matt Ryan on the bench who can stretch out the defense with his shooting ability.
Why They Can Disappoint:
With a player the caliber of Zach Auguste manning the center spot, it is difficult to say that the frontcourt is a weakness. Auguste is an absolute beast in the paint, averaging 14.6 points and 10.8 rebounds. He does so much for this team and his presence allows players like Vasturia, Beachem and Ryan to get open looks on the perimeter. And, of course, Auguste can do plenty of scoring on his own in the paint. Getting consistent production from the other forwards is the bigger concern. Ryan and Beachem are basically big guards, so the interior presence beside Auguste falls on the shoulders of sophomore Bonzie Colson and senior Austin Burgett. Colson has really picked up his scoring this year, but still is inconsistent. Burgett does not see the floor too much, but at least has experience. Colson is as tough as they come, but he’s only 6-5 and cannot replace Auguste at the five spot. Most of the time Colson is a solid complimentary forward to Auguste, but he can disappear at times. He dropped 31 points and added 11 rebounds against Duke. A few days earlier he was completely ineffective against Georgia Tech and played just 17 minutes, partially due to foul trouble and partially due to the fact that he was not getting the job done. If Colson steps up and can make it so Notre Dame still has an interior presence even when Auguste is taking a rest, this will be a dangerous tournament team.
Probable Starters:
Demetrius Jackson, Junior, Guard, 15.8 ppg, 5.0 apg, 3.5 rpg
Steve Vasturia, Junior, Guard, 12.2 ppg, 3.1 apg
V.J. Beachem, Junior, Forward, 11.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg
Bonzie Colson, Sophomore, Forward, 11.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.0 bpg
Zach Auguste, Senior, Center, 14.6 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 1.0 bpg
Key Roleplayers:
Matt Ryan, Freshman, Forward, 5.8 ppg, 1.7 rpg
Rex Pflueger, Freshman, Guard, 2.6 ppg, 1.2 apg
Austin Burgett, Senior, Forward, 2.0 ppg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 76.4 (96th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 70.1 (133, 8)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.5 (32, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.1 (156, 9)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.4 (133, 4)   
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.3 (55, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.7 (40, 4)
Rebound Margin:  2.9 (90, 8)
Assists Per Game:  13.5 (157, 7)
Turnovers Per Game:  9.2 (3, 1)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2015    NCAA Second Round win over Northeastern
2015    NCAA Third Round win over Butler
2015    NCAA Regional Semifinal win over Wichita State
2015    NCAA Regional Final loss to Kentucky
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 3/6