Notre Dame Men's Basketball 2017 NCAA Tournament Capsule


Notre Dame Fighting Irish

ACC (25-9, 12-6)

Mike Brey will look to extend his Elite Eight appearance streak to three straight years after coaching the Fighting Irish to the regional finals in each of the last two seasons. After surviving the gauntlet of the ACC with a respectable 12-6 conference record, the Irish are hoping to make their first Final Four appearance since 1978.  Notre Dame looked good early in the season, going 11-2 in the non-conference portion of the schedule with their only losses to Villanova and Purdue. They started the ACC slate off strong, winning their first five conference games. They hit a bit of a wall at the end of January, but a friendly back-end of the conference schedule helped them finish strong.
Big Wins: 1/4 Louisville (77-70), 1/14 at Virginia Tech (76-71), 2/11 Florida State (84-72)
Bad Losses: 12/17 vs Purdue (81-86), 1/24 Virginia (54-71), 1/28 at Georgia Tech (60-62)
Coach: Mike Brey
Why They Can Surprise:
The Irish have made the Elite Eight in back to back seasons and with only one freshman in the rotation, this team has well-established tournament experience. As is tradition with Mike Brey teams, Notre Dame’s strength is their offense. The Irish score nearly 79 points per contest and are shooting 38.9 percent from three and an astounding 80.9 percent from the free throw line. Junior point guard Matt Farrell is the cog that makes Notre Dame’s offense run so smoothly. Farrell gets 5.5 assists a game and is also a lethal three-point shooter at 40.7 percent. Farrell may be the conductor of the Irish offense, but Bonzie Colson is the star on this team. Colson averages a double-double with 17.5 points and 10.2 boards even though he stands at just 6-5. Despite the fact that he’s under-sized in nearly every matchup, Colson has been one of the best big men in the nation this year.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Even with Colson playing like a beast, the Irish are out-sized in the frontcourt in just about every game they play. They only have one player in their rotation that stands above 6-8 in Martinas Geben and he gets fewer than 15 minutes per game. The height disparity shows up in the rebounding column as teams average 11.2 offensive boards against the Irish this year. In contrast, Notre Dame only gets 8.9 rebounds on the offensive glass per game. The lack of height also leads to Notre Dame relying on the three ball at times which can backfire in the tournament when all it takes is one poor shooting night to end the season. 
Probable Starters:
Matt Farrell, Junior, Guard, 14.2 ppg, 5.5 apg
Rex Pflueger, Sophomore, Guard, 4.8 ppg, 1.6 apg
Steve Vasturia, Senior, Guard, 13.3 ppg, 3.4 apg, 3.8 rpg
V.J. Beachem, Senior, Forward, 15.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.1 bpg
Bonzie Colson, Junior, Forward, 17.5 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 1.4 bpg
Key Role Players:
Temple Gibbs, Freshman, Guard, 4.8 ppg, 1.8 apg
Matt Ryan, Sophomore, Forward, 3.4 ppg
Austin Torres, Senior, Forward, 1.4 ppg
Martinas Geben, Junior, Center, 3.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 78.5 (63rd in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 69.3 (100, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.1 (86, 8)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.6 (110, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.5 (23, 1)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.9 (30, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 80.9 (1, 1)
Rebound Margin: -1.5 (251, 14)
Assists Per Game: 16.3 (27, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 9.6 (3, 2)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2016    NCAA Round of 64 win over Michigan
2016    NCAA Round of 32 win over Stephen F. Austin
2016    NCAA Regional Semifinal win over Wisconsin
2016    NCAA Regional Final loss to North Carolina
2015    NCAA Round of 64 win over Northeastern
2015    NCAA Round of 32 win over Butler
2015    NCAA Regional Semifinal win over Wichita State
2015    NCAA Regional Final loss to Kentucky
2013    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Iowa State
2012    NCAA Round of 64 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 3/5