Hear It From a Student - Our House

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I've been a Notre Dame student for two years now. In those two years, I have been to a lot of basketball games, and seen an incredible variety of events. I've seen blowouts and crazy endings. I've seen the team cruise to victory in preseason wins, and I stormed the court after a win over the number one team in the country. I've seen dunks, blocks, and a seemingly unending stream of threes.

You know what I have yet to see in person? A loss.

The Irish have only lost one game when playing in the Joyce Center in the past two years, and that loss (a 53-67 loss to Connecticut in January) came over winter break, when the student body was on vacation. When they've been playing with the Leprechaun Legion behind them, the Irish have been invincible.

There are moments when the team makes a strong sequence of plays that the Joyce Center erupts. Even though a game may be tight until the end, we've almost come to expect the Irish to suddenly make some clutch shots and take the momentum. When that happens, the atmosphere in South Bend becomes electric.

The team's last game against DePaul was a perfect example. The game was tied at 68-68 with just over six and a half minutes left in the second half. After a foul on DePaul's Donovan Kirk, the Demons' bench drew a technical foul. The Irish fans, who had been getting frustrated with the officiating, came to life with a call that went their way. Jerian Grant knocked down the two free throws, and Jack Cooley quickly followed with a layup. When Alex Dragicevich hit a three to give the Irish a seven point lead, the place went nuts. The players were pumped. The fans were screaming at the top of their lungs. And after that point, DePaul never got within more than three points.

Moments like that - when the team and the fans come together as one - are one of the things I love most about sports. The adrenaline rush is something that is hard to beat. And the whole student body (well, all of us who managed to wake up early enough for a noon game) shared in that electric feeling at once. Moments like that are pretty special, and Notre Dame basketball seems to be having them a lot lately.

With the 84-76 win, the Irish moved to 17-8 and 9-3 in Big East play. They keep on defying the odds and giving their fans an incredible season to watch. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have seen such a phenomenal effort this year.

And despite a tough performance from a resilient DePaul team, I have still only seen Irish wins at the Joyce Center. It's great to be an Irish fan.

- Tom McGuire ('14)

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