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    Following Flynt - Historic Streak for Irish Hoops

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    On Saturday night, Notre Dame orchestrated an incredible 20-point comeback against Villanova - winning its eighth straight game and 19th of the 2011-12 season.

    The 74-70 overtime victory matched the Fighting Irish's longest BIG EAST winning streak in program history. The team also won eight consecutive league games in 2000-01, Mike Brey's first at the helm (Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Syracuse, Georgetown, Pittsburgh, St. John's, West Virginia, Rutgers). But the similarities to the twelfth-year head coach's first season in South Bend don't stop there.

    During that year, Brey's squad began BIG EAST play with an 11-3 mark - also a program-best, and the same record the 20th-ranked Irish have today.

    Finally, with wins at Seton Hall, Connecticut, West Virginia, and now, Villanova, Notre Dame has won its last four away games. The last time the Irish won that many consecutive games on the road? Yep, 2000-01, when they took five straight BIG EAST away contests (Georgetown, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Rutgers, Virginia Tech).

    With four games remaining, Notre Dame sits tied with Marquette for second place in the conference, 2.5 games behind Syracuse. The top four regular season teams will secure a double-bye to the quarterfinals for next month's BIG EAST Tournament, which will be held from March 6-10 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

    Notre Dame returns to the Purcell Pavilion on Wednesday against West Virginia at 7 pm ET on ESPN2. Rece Davis, Digger Phelps and Bob Knight will have the call. The Mountaineers are 7-7 in conference play and will be looking to avenge this month's 55-51 home loss at the hands of the Fighting Irish.

    - Josh Flynt ('11)

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