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The men's basketball team won their season opener Friday night against St. Francis (PA), 87-56.

But before the season got started, Steve Vasturia and Bonzie Colson surprised a South Bend family by hand-delivering their season tickets. 

After Bonzie and Steve handed off the tickets, they spent some time with the lucky family signing autographs, taking pictures, and playing the piano. 

Check out the cool moment in the video below. 


Notre Dame men's basketball may have lost two all-time great players from last year's ACC Championship squad but, they've added four new names to the roster, each determined to make their own impact on the program. 


Recently, I sat down with the freshmen and got to know more about the new kids on the court:



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MR: Matt Ryan - Forward - #4 - 6'8 - Carroll Hall  


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EB: Elijah Burns - Forward - #12 - 6'9 - St. Edwards Hall



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CH: Chad Holtz - Guard - #15 - 6'5 - Dillon Hall



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RP: Rex Pflueger - Guard - #0 - O'Neill Hall



Why Notre Dame?


MR: It's a great school academically and athletically. They recruited me for a long time and my family fell in love with it just like I did.

EB: It's a great institution academically. It's one of the best places I was getting recruited by.

CH: It's a great school academically. I've kind of been around the University my whole life so I've always wanted to come here.

RP: It was the best position for me. They offered everything I wanted, academics and athletics, and I had a great group of other guys come in with me.


Favorite spot on campus?


MR: The gym.

EB: The gym.

CH: The gym.

RP: Everyone wants to say the gym, but also Recker's.

EB: Also, my bed.

MR: Yeah we don't get to go there that much.


If you didn't play basketball, what sport would you play?


MR: Football.

EB: Baseball.

CH: Football.

RP: Football.


North Dining Hall or South Dining Hall?


MR: SDH.

EB: NDH.*

CH: SDH.

RP: SDH.

*Elijah wanted to be "different," also, NDH is closer to his dorm.


Why did you pick the number you wear?


MR: My favorite player growing up was JJ Redick, so I always wanted to wear number 4.

EB: For me it [number 12] is just a family thing.

CH: 15 has just always been my number.

RP: I've been [number] 1 my whole life, but ya know, 0 is pretty cool too.


Who are your NBA Role Models?


MR: JJ Redick.

EB: Boris Diaw.

CH: Uhhh...(Matt jokingly suggests Brian Scalabrine).

RP: Paul George and Jimmy Butler.


Which ACC opponent are you most excited to play?


MR: We're looking forward to everybody. We came here to play basketball and to play against good teams/players every night.

EB: Specifically in the ACC, our first game away is at Virginia and I'm really looking forward to that.

CH: Yeah, the Virginia game.

RP: I'd say the Virginia game especially, the North Carolina game here and Duke away.


One word to describe your style of play?


EB: Let me take this one. Physical.

MR: Smooth.

CH: Uhhh... (after some pondering his teammates decided his style of play was most accurately described as simply, "Chad.")

RP: Versatile.


One word to describe this team?


MR: Focused.

EB: Brothers.

CH: Family.

RP: Ready.


It's safe to say this group is ready to start the season, have some fun, and make their own mark on the Notre Dame basketball program. 




A New Home

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While our student-athletes have been working hard in preparation for the start of the fall season, we've also made a few improvements in anticipation of the new school year.

From this point forward, Irish UNDerground will be utilizing the Wordpress platform powered by NBC Sports.

Here's a look at our three new blog websites:

UNDerground: Notre Dame Athletics

Strong and True: Notre Dame Football

Irish United: Notre Dame Men's and Women's Soccer

Go ahead and bookmark these now. With features, videos, photos, commentaries and news from inside the athletic department, we are committed to bringing you coverage of Notre Dame athletics unlike any you can find elsewhere.

Get ready. 2012-13 is going to be an exciting year to be Irish.

The Other "Mike and Mike"

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Big O Salute

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USC forward Renaldo Woolridge honors his father, the late Orlando Woolridge ('81) with a nice musical tribute. Orlando passed away last month at the age of 52.

A Tribute to Orlando Woolridge

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Orlando Woolridge (1959-2012)

Following his untimely passing last week, many Notre Dame alums and fans sent their thoughts and prayers out to the family of Irish basketball great Orlando Woolridge ('81). On Friday, former teammate Marc Kelly ('82), now a Superior Court Judge in Orange County, Calif. made a special tribute to the 13-year NBA veteran.

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After the bailiff introduced him, the Honorable Judge Kelly called his court into session with a few words about Woolridge. Here's the text from the official court reporter, Lisa Charboneau Peters:

Please remain standing for a moment of silence in honor of Orlando Woolridge, a dear friend and ex-basketball teammate of the court at Notre Dame, who sadly passed away last night at age 52.

Always smiling, Orlando was a world-class human being and one of the greatest athletes ever to put on a Notre Dame uniform.

He leaves behind a legacy that will endure among the many persons who had good fortune to meet him.

We pray for strength for his family and friends, and may he rest in peace.

Be seated and come to order.

All in all, a very nice tribute from one Irish teammate to another. Kelly served as the President of the Monogram Club from 2007-2009 and was a four-year walk-on with the Irish, before embarking on a career in law.

Read more on Woolridge's life and basketball career on UND.com.

Hansbrough: An NBA Hopeful

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As he watched his brother Tyler and the Indiana Pacers make a run at the Eastern Conference Finals, Ben Hansbrough ('11) thought back to his days playing basketball in the backyard.

In a recent feature for the New Jersey Star-Ledger, Colin Stephenson writes about Hansbrough's quest to join his brother in the NBA next season:

Ben Hansbrough was one of 21 players invited by the Nets to take part in the minicamp, and it was his second time working out for the Nets. Last summer, the former Notre Dame point guard, who was the Big East player of the year as a senior in 2011, attended the Nets' workouts for rookies.

The 6-3 Hansbrough, who averaged 18.4 points per game and shot 43.5 percent from 3-point range as a senior at Notre Dame, went undrafted last summer, and ended up playing in Germany and Slovenia. He said he was hampered by a bad ankle injury suffered during an individual workout in Indianapolis just before the NBA combine. He said he chipped a bone and tore two tendons in his left ankle.

Read the rest of Stephenson's article on NJ.com.
Earlier today, Danny White ('02) was named the new Director of Athletics at the University of Buffalo. White, the son of former Notre Dame AD Kevin White, played basketball for the Irish after transferring from Towson following his sophomore year. A graduate of the Mendoza College of Business with a bachelor's degree in business administration, White currently serves as senior associate athletics director at the University of Mississippi.

Here's a snippet from UB's on the latest addition to the Bulls' team:

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A rising star in intercollegiate athletics, the former Notre Dame basketball player and New Orleans native has quickly ascended the ranks of college athletics leadership.

His many accomplishments include notable success in raising funds for programs at major universities, including the University of Mississippi and California State University, Fresno, and coaching and serving as an administrator at Mid-American Conference members Ohio University and Northern Illinois University. At Ohio, he helped lead the men's basketball team to a Mid-American Conference championship victory and an NCAA tournament berth.

Visit Buffalo's website for more on Danny's new opportunity. You can also follow him on Twitter at @UBDannyWhite.

Hanging By A Moment

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Following a particular college or university is a pastime for all sports fans as they go through their stages of adolescence. Whether it be where their parents went, where they live or just an obsession with a particular team for no apparent reason, all fans share random, common bonds with people who may be miles away.

As a child I grew up watching the 'Old Ball Coach' roam the sidelines for the Florida Gators (dad's alma mater), Tom Coverdale run the point for the Indiana Hoosiers (childhood team) and Autry Denson and Jarious Jackson run the option for the Irish (location). As I got older, the times and games I remembered turned in to moments in which to this day I have not forgotten.

Moments are what make us as sports fans keep coming back for more, albeit there were just over 28,000 paying customers in attendance at Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buerhle's perfect game in 2009, as time goes by there will be 100,000 people claiming they were at Comiskey Park (I have and always will call it by this name) that day. I am not a fan of this particular Chicago area sports team, yet I will always remember where I was and whom I was with when this great moment took place.

I have many great and historic moments that I remember from the past 20-some years I have been a fan of Notre Dame. I have recollections that I would rather forget (Jackson's safety against LSU in 1998 in which he hurt his ankle and was out the following week) and those in which I wish I could relive over and over (Notre Dame women's basketball team taking down #1 UConn in 2001 at the Joyce en route to the program's first NCAA title). For both of those games, I remember where I was (Jackson's injury - celebrating Thanksgiving in Indianapolis, women's basketball vs. UConn - at game behind basket in first row).

This past athletic season had a fair share of 'Notre Dame Moments' in which I was able to witness; here are my top five ...

5. Frank Dyer, The All-American Guy
NCAA Men's Swimming Championships
March 24, 2012

In the 53 years of men's swimming at Notre Dame, the Irish have accomplished a lot - five BIG EAST Championships, five BIG EAST Coach of the Year honors and over 50 all-BIG EAST honorees - yet they had never had any swimmer garner national All-American recognition, until Frank Dyer's swim in Federal Way, Wash., this past season.

Dyer had been training all year long for the opportunity to make his mark in Notre Dame swimming lore. On a Friday evening in late March, he got his opportunity. As he stepped upon the blocks in the 200 freestyle finals, Dyer had the weight of the entire program on his back and he didn't disappoint.

The gun went off and just one minute and 34 seconds later, Notre Dame had its first All-American, Frank Dyer.

4. Freeby Calls Bull's Shot
Baseball vs. Pittsburgh
March 23, 2012

It may not have been George Herman Ruth calling his shot or even Jake Taylor, but Notre Dame baseball radio announcer Chuck Freeby opined between innings on the broadcast that the Irish would defeat the Panthers in the bottom half of the ninth inning on a home run from freshman Ryan Bull.

What happened next was truly amazing as Bull hit his first career home run at the exact time in which Freeby 'called it.'

3. Squeezing The Orange
Men's Basketball vs. #1 Syracuse
January 21, 2012

On a cold January day, the Irish, with a record of 11-8, welcomed the undefeated Syracuse Orange into Purcell Pavilion for a BIG EAST conference clash. As the game wore on, Notre Dame played more like the Harlem Globetrotters to Syracuse's Washington Generals.

Building a lead as big as 18 points, the Irish went on to win 67-58 in front of a sold-out crowd. This was the eighth time that the men's basketball program had knocked off the top-ranked team in the AP poll in its history.

2. Big Shot Britt
Women's Basketball vs. Connecticut
April 1, 2012

In the fourth meeting on the season between the two squads, the teams went back and forth throughout much of the game.

The Irish squandered a five-point lead late to find themselves down two with just under-10 seconds to play when Skylar Diggins drove the length of the court and put up a runner in the lane, the attempt would miss and fall in the hands of senior Natalie Novosel. After gathering the rebound, Novosel put the ball up on a reverse lay-up, to see the ball drop with just a few seconds left on the clock to send the game to overtime.

The Irish found themselves down, three, early in overtime. That's when senior Brittany Mallory, who was shooting 1-11 in NCAA Championship play prior, was found in the corner for an open three, which she calmly drained.

After a rebound on the defensive end, Diggins quickly pushed the ball up the court and again found Mallory on the wing for another trey. The clutch play from their scrappy, sharpshooting senior would catapult the Irish to their second NCAA Championship game in as many years.

1. The Dedication Game (Holy War on Ice)
Hockey vs. Boston College
November 18, 2011

Taking part on the Friday night before their respective football teams clashed in the 'Holy War' on the gridiron, the hockey squads took to the ice for the 'Dedication Game' of the 50-million dollar Compton Family Ice Arena.

The sold-out crowd of 5,022 was treated to one of my favorite moments of my time at Notre Dame as the longtime tenor for the Chicago Blackhawks, Jim Cornelison (an Indiana University graduate), bellowed the National Anthem and kicked off a night full of moments.

This 'Notre Dame Moment' looked like something right out of the third Mighty Ducks when Bryan Rust capped off the game with a sudden-death victory goal with just 1.1 seconds left in overtime to give the Irish the 3-2 win.


These are just a few of the great Irish athletics moments from the past year. Every particular moment has its key players - Ryan Bull, Brittany Mallory, Frank Dyer - but the big question in sports has always been, "how will history remember you?" I'm sorry to say to all the athletes out there, it's not always your full athletic body of work that gets you remembered, sometimes it's just that one 'moment' where everything seems to come together and 20 years from now everyone is still talking about it, and all of Irish nation claims to have been there in person.

As the ghost of George Herman (Babe) Ruth told Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez, "Heroes get remembered, but Legends never die."

- Aaron Horvath

ND Youth Sports TV: Irish Experience League

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"I just have one thing to say to Tim - 'You're huge!'"

"Kenneth - King of the Front Handspring"

Through the Irish Experience League the Notre Dame community takes the fun, spirit and values inherent in Notre Dame Sports to the community. Volunteers include varsity student-athletes, faculty, staff and students as the Notre Dame family grows stronger through community building in South Bend.

Learn more about the Irish Experience League at youthsports.nd.edu.

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Event Calendar

November 15
1:00 PM
Bucknell
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

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November 15
1:00 PM
Syracuse Final
Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium)

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November 15
1:00 PM
Miami
Coral Gables, Fla.

ESPN3
Live Stats
November 15
All Day
Bulldog Scramble
Athens, Georgia (Dan Magill Tennis Center)
November 15
All Day
USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships
Flushing, N.Y. (USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center)
November 17
7:00 PM
Milwaukee
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

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November 18
7:00 PM
Toledo
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

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November 19
TBA
NCAA First Round
Campus Sites
November 20
TBA
vs. TBD
Campus sites

Interactive Bracket
November 20
7:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)
November 20
7:15 PM
UMass-Lowell
Lowell, Mass. (Tsongas Center)

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November 20
All Day
Boilermaker Invitational
West Lafayette, Ind. (Boilermaker Aquatic Center)
November 20
All Day
Boilermaker Invitational
West Lafayette, Ind. (Boilermaker Aquatic Center)
November 21
7:30 PM
Boston College
Boston, Mass.(Fenway Park)

NBCSN
Game Week Central
Uniform Gallery Photos
Shamrock Series Merchandise
November 21
2:00 PM
UMass-Lowell
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

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November 21
3:00 PM
South Dakota State
Brookings, S.D. (Frost Arena)

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November 21
12:00 PM
NCAA Championship
Louisville, Ky. (EP Tom Sawyer State Park)
November 21
7:05 PM
UMass-Lowell
Lowell, Mass. (Tsongas Center)

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November 21
All Day
Boilermaker Invitational
West Lafayette, Ind. (Boilermaker Aquatic Center)
November 21
All Day
Boilermaker Invitational
West Lafayette, Ind. (Boilermaker Aquatic Center)
November 22
TBA
NCAA Second Round
Campus Sites
November 22
TBA
NCAA Third Round
Campus Sites

Interactive Bracket
November 22
1:00 PM
Clemson
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)
November 22
All Day
Boilermaker Invitational
West Lafayette, Ind. (Boilermaker Aquatic Center)
November 22
All Day
Boilermaker Invitational
West Lafayette, Ind. (Boilermaker Aquatic Center)
November 23
8:00 PM
Valparaiso
Valpraraiso, Ind. (Athletics-Recreation Center)

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