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Notre Dame Basketball

Game Thread | (11) Notre Dame vs. (3) Texas Tech

March 20, 2022
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(11) Notre Dame (24-10) vs (3) Texas Tech (26-9)


Date: March 20

Time: 7:10 PM ET 

Where: Viejas Arena | San Diego, Calif. 

TV: TBS | Lisa Byington, Steve Smith, Avery Johnson and Lauren Shehadi

Line: Texas Tech -8.0

O/U: 132.5


Quick Facts 

- Notre Dame leads the all-time series 1-0

- This will be the first time Mike Brey faces Texas Tech since arriving at Notre Dame. 

- Freshman Blake Wesley is the first rookie in the country this season to reach 450 points, 100 rebounds, 75 assists, 50 3FGM, and 40 steals.

- Cormac Ryan is averaging 13.8 ppg since joining the starting lineup on Feb. 9.

- Ryan’s 29 points against Alabama were the most for a Notre Dame player in an NCAA Tournament game under Mike Brey. 

- Mike Brey led his team to a 15th NCAA victory on Friday against Alabama, matching Digger Phelps for the most NCAA victories in program history.


PROJECTED STARTERS

Notre Dame

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Prentiss Hubb 9.0 3.2 4.0
Blake Wesley 14.5 3.6 2.4
Dane Goodwin 13.6 4.6 1.3
Cormac Ryan 9.2 4.8 1.9
Paul Atkinson Jr. 12.8 7.0 1.7

Texas Tech

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Kevin McCullar 9.7 4.7 3.2
Terrence Shannon Jr.  19.8 2.7 2.2
Adonis Arms 8.5 4.2 2.7
Kevin Obanor 9.9 5.1 0.5
Bryson Williams 13.9 4.2 1.0

 

Preview

Category Notre Dame Texas Tech
Points  73.1 72.4
Opponent Points 75.5 62.0
FG% 46.6% 47.5%
Rebounds  33.9 36.4
Assists  14.2 13.8
Blocks 1.9 3.5
Steals 5.3 8.1

Notre Dame will take the floor for a chance at the Sweet 16 on Sunday night. The Fighting Irish will face one of the hottest teams in America in Texas Tech, but don’t tell the 11th seeded Notre Dame they are the underdog. 

“I don't know if we think we're the underdogs,” said forward Paul Atkinson Jr. “I think we're just two teams that are going to go battle it out in March Madness. I think seeds kind of go away when you're out on the court. It's just two teams trying to battle and survive and advance.”

If you want to talk about career games, Sunday will be one as this group has not played a bigger game. Senior Dane Goodwin is aware of the stakes, but he also knows it comes down to how his team plays regardless of the opponent. 

“We've talked about it as a group, I think we can go as far as we want,” stated Goodwin. “We've come into this aggressive but humble, and we know that there's a bunch of games in front of us. But we're taking it one game at a time. And we've got the group that we've got, and we're happy with who we've got and we're confident, if we go out and play our game we can really take this as far as we want.” 

And while it will be the third game since Wednesday, Cormac Ryan doesn't feel the Irish have tired legs. it might be adrenaline, but Notre Dame certainly didn’t show signs of exhaustion in the win over Alabama. 

“I think we feel great,” Ryan said. “We've had stretches during the season where we've played three in five, or five in eight, whatever, three in a row. We've had those stretches. I think we're a group of veteran guys who know how to kind of prepare our bodies, recover the right way, take care of ourselves. So we're going to be ready to roll on Sunday.” 

Texas Tech is athletic, big, physical and will play defense, unlike any other team the Irish have faced this year. The Red Raiders have built this year’s team on defense and Mike Brey knows his team will need to rise to the occasion. 

“I've watched them during the year,” explained Brey. “You watch them a bunch. But I wanted to go out and just peek in and see them on eye level. Woohoo, do they have some bodies, baby.

“No different than what we dealt with in the Big East all those years -- Florida State, Rutgers, these guys. They'll come after us, be all over us. They're a great defensive team.” 

It’s not just the athletic traits that has Brey’s attention, but it’s the small details Texas Tech has mastered. 

“The bodies and their stances,” Brey stated. “I have been so impressed -- you know you're talking about kids, getting them in a stance. You do that at basketball camp. That's a station at basketball camp. Some guys grow up and come to college and they can be in a stance and they stay down.

“Everybody they play is in a great stance. And it's a great body in a great stance, with strength and height and length. And they almost push each other out of the way to take the charge -- no, no, I'm going to take it; no, no, I'm going to take it.

“We're a really good passing team. We're going to have to rely on moving that ball to move them around a little bit, because if you try and do something after the third pass, you're going to run into a chest.”

Brey’s team has been through a lot over the last three years and those scars have built them for this moment and possibly more. 

“They got beat up,” said Brey. “You think about the timing in your league. When they were freshmen and we played them and we took our medicine, we had three 1 seeds in our league. As seniors we didn't have three 1 seeds in the ACC. I've kidded, I thought I was in a one-bid league for a while in February the way they talked about the ACC. Neat to see the league play well in this thing.

“But that was I think a great motivating factor as they've grown and got older and gotten better. And they've stuck with us and we've stuck with them. And it's how we've run the program. That's why I'm really happy for the older guys, how they've invested and get to experience this and be hanging around in this for a while.”

Texas Tech Last 5 Notre Dame Last 5
Montana State (97-62) W Alabama (78-64) W
at Kansas (74-65) L Rutgers (89-87/2OT) W
Oklahoma (56-55) W Virginia Tech (87-80) L
Iowa State (72-41) W Pitt (78-54) W
at Oklahoma State (52-51) L at Florida State (74-70) L
 
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