Notre Dame 31-38–69
The ACC Champion, No. 3 seed Notre Dame Fighting Irish held on in 69-65 thriller to defeat the No. 14 Northeastern Huskies in a Round of 64 game in the Midwest Region. The fighting Irish were the first team to advance to the Round of 32.
Notre Dame plays the winner of No. 6 Butler vs. No. 11 Texas in the Round of 32 on Saturday.
Click here for the game’s full box score.
The Huskies Kept the Game Close During the 1st Half
The No. 14 seed Northeastern Huskies, behind three made three-point shots in the 1st half, kept the game within four points and trailed only 31-27 over the No. 3 seed Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Northeastern was able to wrestle away the lead at several points in the opening half, but a 11-5 Notre Dame over the final five minutes gave the Irish slight breathing room going into the 2nd half.
Northeastern forward Scott Eatherton was the team’s most effective player with six points, but two key dunks, which exploited Notre Dame’s lack of strength inside the paint. The Irish were led in scoring by guard Jerian Grant who went 4-for-5 from the field with nine points.
Even ESPN’s Colin Cowherd has been on the Notre Dame bandwagon, and expects this team to make a run through the duration of March.
The Huskies Hung Tough Until the Very End
(Notre Dame guard Demetrius Jackson on the fast-break)
The Irish blew an 11-point lead with under 4:00 to play in the game. Northeastern hung tough until they were down 67-65 in the final 30 seconds to play. A botched possession, which resulted in a Notre Dame steal, ultimately doomed the Huskies late.
Notre Dame forward Zach Auguste played BIG for the Irish (no pun intended). His 25 points was a team-high, and he hit 5-for-6 of his free-throw attempts, but none of them more crucial than the two inside the final two seconds that sealed Notre Dame’s ticket to the Round of 32.