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Notre Dame 2018 NCAA Tournament Preview

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

ACC (20-14, 8-10)

 

Notre Dame is a different team with Bonzie Colson. He missed all of January and most of February and the Irish lost nine games during that stretch. In the 19 games he played, Colson averaged 20.2 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocks. He is obviously a massive force on both ends of the floor.

 

Big Wins: 11/22 vs Wichita State (67-66), 1/6 at Syracuse (51-49), 2/10 Florida State (84-69)

Bad Losses: 12/5 Ball State (77-80), 12/16 vs Indiana (77-80), 1/10 at Georgia Tech (53-60)

Coach: Mike Brey

 

Why They Can Surprise:

Matt Farrell has had a superb senior season, averaging 16.8 points and 5.5 assists. He is a prolific outside shooter and is a huge reason why the Irish commit just 10.1 turnovers per game. TJ Gibbs provides Coach Mike Brey with a talented secondary ball handler. However, he has also emerged as a major scoring threat. Gibbs is a prolific outside shooter, but will also attack the basket effectively. With Colson, Farrell and Gibbs, Notre Dame has three dynamic scorers who also bring a lot of other skills to the table.

 

Why They Can Disappoint:

The Fighting Irish defense has improved with Colson roaming the paint, but the team still allows the opposition to shoot nearly 36 percent from beyond the arc. When the opposition is connecting on their three-pointers, Notre Dame can allow quite a few points. Of course they can score quite a few too and if this group is winning the turnover and the rebounding battles. When healthy, the Irish are a very tough team to beat.

 

Probable Starters:

Rex Pflueger, Junior, Guard, 8.3 ppg, 3.1 apg, 4.2 rpg

Matt Farrell, Senior, Guard, 16.8 ppg, 5.5 apg

TJ Gibbs, Jr., Sophomore, Guard, 15.2 ppg, 3.1 apg

Martinas Geben, Senior, Forward, 10.9 ppg, 8.1 rpg

Bonzie Colson, Senior, Forward, 20.2 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 2.3 bpg

 

Key Role Players:

Nikola Djogo, Sophomore, Guard, 2.5 ppg

John Mooney, Sophomore, Forward, 5.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg

 

By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 75.6 (126th in nation, 8th in conference)

Scoring Defense: 68.3 (73, 6)

Field-Goal Percentage: 45.1 (157, 11)

Field-Goal Defense: 42.8 (107, 9)

Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.7 (88, 3)

Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.5 (66, 5)

Free-Throw Percentage: 75.4 (46, 2)

Rebound Margin: 2.3 (99, 5)

Assists Per Game: 14.3 (123, 6)

Turnovers Per Game: 10.1 (10, 2)

 

Recent Postseason Appearances:

2017    NCAA            Round of 64 win over Princeton

2017    NCAA            Round of 32 loss to West Virginia

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 3/4

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