CINCINNATI (19-8, 7-7) vs. #25/25 NOTRE DAME (21-6, 9-5)
February 24, 2013 o 2 p.m. (ET)
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center (9,149)
Notre Dame, Ind.
Ian Eagle (play-by-play)
Jim Spanarkel (analyst)
Broadcast on UND.com (free)
Sirius 92, XM 190
Jack Nolan (play-by-play) Sean Kearney (analyst)
Gametracker on UND.com
#25/25 NOTRE DAME PLAYS HOST TO CINCINNATI ON SUNDAY
No. 25/25 Notre Dame (21-6, 9-5) returns home following a two-game road swing to play host to Cincinnati (19-8, 7-7) on Sunday. The BIG EAST showdown is slated for 2 p.m. (ET) inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center.
This is the second meeting this season between the Fighting Irish and Bearcats. Notre Dame won at Cincinnati, 66-60, on Jan. 7.
Sunday's game can be seen on CBS. Ian Eagle (play-by-play) and Jim Spanarkel (analyst) will be on the call.
Jack Nolan (play-by-play) and Sean Kearney (analyst) will call the action for the Notre Dame Basketball Radio Network and that broadcast can be heard for free on UND.com (full affiliate listings on Pg. 3). The game also is available on Sirius 92, XM 190.
The Fighting Irish are coming off a stretch in which they played three games in six days. Notre Dame will play its final four regular-season contests over the course of 14 days.
This is Notre Dame's first Sunday game of the season.
Notre Dame is 9-4 all-time against Cincinnati, including a 6-3 mark since the Bearcats joined the BIG EAST Conference in 2005. The Fighting Irish have won four of the last five meetings in the series.
Cincinnati is 0-4 all-time at Notre Dame (0-3 in BIG EAST play). The Irish won the last meeting inside Purcell Pavilion, 66-58, on Jan. 19, 2011.
Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey is 7-3 all-time against Cincinnati.
The Fighting Irish had five double-figure scorers (Grant 19, Martin 12, Cooley 11, Atkins 10, Connaughton 10) in the 66-60 win at Cincinnati on Jan. 7. Notre Dame was 9-for-16 (.563) from three-point range in the contest.
IRISH BOAST BIG EAST SUCCESS
The Fighting Irish are on the verge of capturing a program-record fourth straight 10-win season in BIG EAST play. The Irish have registered at least 10 league wins eight times in the last 12 seasons under head coach Mike Brey.
Notre Dame, Louisville and Syracuse are the only BIG EAST squads to win 10 or more league games in each of the last three seasons.
FIGHTING IRISH SCRATCH OUT WIN AGAINST THE PANTHERS
Notre Dame overcame a 16-point (19-3) first-half deficit to win at Pittsburgh, 51-42, on Monday. The Irish shot 22.2% (6-27) in the first half and responded with a 60.0% (12-20) effort in the second half. Notre Dame outscored Pittsburgh 32-20 in the second stanza.
Pittsburgh's 42 points matched the lowest output ever for a Notre Dame opponent in BIG EAST play (regular season or tournament). Seton Hall scored 42 in a 55-42 Irish victory last season (1/25/12).
The 42 points from Pittsburgh were the fewest allowed by Notre Dame against a ranked opponent since a 34-28 overtime loss to No. 4/3 Kentucky on Dec. 29, 1981.
Pittsburgh was 0-for-8 from three-point range. That was the first time ever that an Irish opponent did not make a three-pointer in BIG EAST play (regular season or tournament).
Notre Dame's 51 points were the fewest for the Irish in a victory since a 50-48 win at Connecticut last season (1/29/12).
IRISH KNOW HOW TO FINISH STRONG IN LEAGUE PLAY
Over the last seven seasons, Notre Dame has gone 24-7 (.774), including Monday's 51-42 victory at Pittsburgh, in its final five games of the BIG EAST regular-season slate.
FIGHTING IRISH FACTS
Over the last three seasons, Notre Dame is 31-1 (11-0 this season) when shooting 50% or above from the field, 52-2 (15-0 this season) when outrebounding its opponent and 54-5 (17-1 this season) when leading at halftime.
The Fighting Irish are 4-1 against ranked teams this season. Over the last four seasons, Notre Dame is 21-13 (.618) against teams ranked in the Associated Press top-25 poll, including a 12-2 mark at home.
QUITE A CLASS
Notre Dame's current senior class needs five victories to become the program's all-time winningest class. The group needs two BIG EAST wins to have the most league victories in any four-year period since the Irish joined the conference in 1995. Here is a breakdown of Notre Dame's top classes based on wins:
2007-11: 96-42 overall/46-26 BIG EAST
2006-10: 93-43 overall/43-27 BIG EAST
2009-13: 92-37 overall/45-22 BIG EAST
NOTRE DAME NOTCHES ANOTHER 20-WIN CAMPAIGN
The Irish have clinched their seventh straight 20-win season. It's the first time in program history Notre Dame has compiled seven consecutive 20-win campaigns. The Fighting Irish have reached the 20-win plateau 10 times in 13 seasons under head coach Mike Brey.
PLAYING WELL IN PURCELL
The Fighting Irish are 115-9 in their last 124 games played at home. That .927 home winning percentage over the course of the last seven seasons ranks second nationally. Kansas is first with a .960 mark.
Notre Dame is 50-3 in its last 53 home games (.943).
BREY ALONE IN FOURTH PLACE ON BIG EAST WINS LIST
The five-overtime win over Louisville on Feb. 9 moved Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey past former St. John's head coach Lou Carnesecca and into sole possession of fourth place on the BIG EAST all-time wins list (both regular-season and tournament). Brey has a 142-94 (.602) BIG EAST record. He is one of 10 coaches in BIG EAST history to record 100 conference wins.
Brey is in his 13th season along the Irish sidelines. He is the second-longest tenured coach in the BIG EAST, behind only Jim Boeheim of Syracuse.
Notre Dame was just 36-58 (.383) in five seasons of BIG EAST play prior to Brey's arrival.
BIG EAST UPS AND DOWNS
Notre Dame has averaged 75.8 points-per-game in its nine BIG EAST victories, while the Irish averaged just 53.8 points in their five league losses. The Fighting Irish have shot 47.0% from the field in the victories and 39.6% in the setbacks. From three-point range, Notre Dame has shot 43.8% in the wins and 22.2% in the defeats.
Senior forward Jack Cooley has posted a double-double in six of the last seven games.
Cooley is tied for second nationally with 18 double-doubles this season (nine in BIG EAST play). He has 31 career double-doubles, which all have occurred in the last two seasons.
Cooley has produced a double-double in the first half alone twice this season (Niagara 20 pts, 10 rebs; BYU 12 pts, 10 rebs).
COOLEY A CONSISTENT PERFORMER
Senior forward Jack Cooley is tied for second nationally in double-doubles (18), fifth in rebounds per game (11.1) and ninth in field-goal percentage (.586).
In BIG EAST play, he is second in rebounding (10.9) and first in offensive rebounds per game (4.0). He is third in field-goal percentage (.540).
Cooley has scored in double-figures in 25 of 27 games this season (13 of 14 BIG EAST games). He has grabbed 10 or more rebounds 19 times this season, including nine times in the last 10 contests. Cooley has hauled down 15 or more rebounds in a game three times this season.
Senior forward Tom Knight is averaging 1.4 blocked shots per game in BIG EAST play. That figure ranks seventh in the league.
Jack Cooley (Sr./F) is sixth in the BIG EAST (all games) in blocked shots per game this season (1.4). Cooley's 112 career blocked shots are the seventh-most in Notre Dame history.
PRODUCTION IN THE PAINT
Jack Cooley (Sr./F) and Garrick Sherman (Sr./C) rank third and fourth, respectively, in field-goal percentage among all BIG EAST players this season. Cooley is shooting 58.6% from the field, while Sherman has a 57.8% mark.
Notre Dame ranks first nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.60).
The Irish are second nationally and first in the BIG EAST (all games) in assists per game (17.7).
The Fighting Irish rank 13th nationally in fewest turnovers per game (11.0). Notre Dame has turned the ball over fewer than 10 times in eight games this season (six times in BIG EAST play). The Irish have turned the ball over five times or less in two games this season.
Notre Dame has had an assist on 66.9% of its made field goals this season.
The Irish have dished out 20 or more assists in 11 games this season (four times in BIG EAST play).
IRISH HAVE OVERTIME EDGE
Notre Dame defeated Louisville, 104-101, in five overtimes on Feb. 9 and then topped DePaul, 82-78, in overtime on Feb. 13. The Louisville contest was the longest game in Notre Dame history and the longest regular-season BIG EAST affair.
Notre Dame is 9-2 in its last 11 overtime affairs (3-1 this season). The Fighting Irish are 13-9 in overtime under head coach Mike Brey.
Notre Dame is shooting 47.7% from the floor this season. That figure ranks 16th nationally and it leads all BIG EAST squads.
The Fighting Irish are shooting 44.5% from the field in BIG EAST play. That percentage is the third-best mark in the league.
The Irish are 11-0 this season when they shoot 50% or above from the floor and they are 10-6 when shooting below 50%.
DRAINING FROM DEEP
The Irish lead the BIG EAST (all games) in three-point shooting percentage (.378). That figure ranks 37th nationally. Notre Dame is shooting 36.9% from beyond the arc in BIG EAST play. That is the third-best percentage in the conference.
The Irish were 12-for-18 from three-point range in the BIG EAST opener against Seton Hall (Jan. 5). The 66.7% three-point shooting clip is the best ever for Notre Dame in a BIG EAST contest. The 12 treys tied a season-high total for the Irish and it marked the third time this season the Irish made 10 or more three-pointers in a game.
Notre Dame is averaging 6.5 made three-pointers per game this season (5.9 in BIG EAST play).
GRANT BRINGING HIS GAME IN LEAGUE PLAY
Junior guard Jerian Grant has scored in double-figures in 12 of 14 BIG EAST games this season. He is averaging 13.8 points per game in league play. Grant has posted a team-high point total in four of the last five games.
His 5.9 assist-per-game average in BIG EAST contests ranks fourth in the conference.
ATKINS ASSISTING THE IRISH EFFORT
Eric Atkins (Jr./PG) is third in the BIG EAST in three-point shooting percentage in league games (.447).
Atkins is 13th nationally and second in the BIG EAST (all games) in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.78).
Atkins is 25th nationally and fourth in the BIG EAST (all games) with a 5.96 assist-per-game average this season. He has four double-doubles this season (points & assists). He has dished out 10 or more assists in a game five times this season.
He is 14th in BIG EAST play with a 1.4 steals-per-game average. He has 106 career steals, which ranks 19th in Notre Dame history.
ATKINS PLAYING MAJOR MINUTES
Junior point guard Eric Atkins tied a Notre Dame record by playing 60 minutes in the five-overtime victory against Louisville on Feb. 9. Atkins leads the BIG EAST by averaging 40.4 minutes per game in league play. Atkins has played 40 or more minutes in seven BIG EAST games this season.
Junior point guard Eric Atkins is fourth in the BIG EAST (25th nationally) in assists per game (5.96), while fellow junior guard Jerian Grant is fifth in the league (T-28th nationally) by averaging 5.63 assists per game. They are the only set of teammates ranked in the top five of the league assists-per-game standings.
Atkins is second in the BIG EAST (all games) in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.8), while Grant is eighth (2.0).
In BIG EAST play, Atkins is first minutes played per game (40.3) and Grant is second (38.4).
MARTIN OUT INDEFINITELY
Scott Martin (GS/G) is out indefinitely due to ongoing issues with his left knee. He has started all 18 games he has played this season. He has missed the last eight contests. The Irish have gone 6-2 in those contests.
Martin is averaging 7.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game this season. He is shooting 46.3% from three-point range this season after shooting 26.1% from distance last season.
Martin has deposited 31 treys this season after making 30 all of last season. He was 6-for-7 (.857) from three-point range against Seton Hall in the BIG EAST opener. The six made treys were a career-high total and a season-best total for the Irish.
MEN IN BLACK
The Fighting Irish have worn their black jerseys five times this season. Notre Dame is 3-2 this season when donning the black uniforms. The Irish are 13-14 all-time in black. Notre Dame first wore black jerseys during the 2005-06 season.
Notre Dame is 4-0 this season when wearing gold jerseys. The Irish have worn their gold jerseys in each of the last three home games.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
Seven different Irish players have posted a team-high point total this season.
The Fighting Irish have seven players who are averaging at least 7.2 points per game, including three with a double-figure average.
Nine different Irish players (Atkins, Auguste, Biedscheid, Connaughton, Cooley, Grant, Knight, Martin, Sherman) have notched a double-digit scoring effort this season.
Notre Dame has had at least four double-figure scorers in 12 games this season. The Fighting Irish have boasted at least five double-digit performers seven times. The Irish had a season-high six double-digit scorers against Chicago State (Nov. 26) and Louisville (Feb. 9).
Notre Dame is 40-14 (.741) over its last 54 BIG EAST regular-season contests.
The Irish have gone 79-41 (.658) in BIG EAST regular-season play over the past seven seasons.
Notre Dame has gone 52-8 (.867) at home in BIG EAST play over the last seven seasons. That is the best home winning percentage for any BIG EAST school in league play over that time period. The Irish are 24-3 in their last 27 BIG EAST home contests.
COOLEY ON WOODEN AWARD MIDSEASON TOP 25 LIST
Senior forward Jack Cooley has been named to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 list by the Los Angeles Athletic Club. The list is comprised of 25 student-athletes who are the front-runners for college basketball's most prestigious honor.
AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT
Junior point guard Eric Atkins had 130 assists and a 1.83 assist-to-turnover ratio last season. He currently has 161 assists and a 2.78 assist-to-turnover ratio this season.
Atkins shot 39.4% from the field last season and is currently shooting at a 45.3% clip. He has improved his three-point shooting from 37.5% last season to a current mark of 42.4%.
Sophomore guard/forward Pat Connaughton had 30 assists during his freshman campaign and already has dished out 67 assists this season. He had a 1.25 assist-to-turnover ratio last season, but has improved that to 2.91 this season.
FEW FOULS FOR THE FIGHTING IRISH
Notre Dame ranks fifth nationally in fewest personal fouls per game (13.7).
108 SEASONS AND GOING STRONG
The 2012-13 campaign marks the 108th season of basketball at Notre Dame and the 18th season as a member of the BIG EAST Conference. Notre Dame teams have posted an all-time record of 1744-945 for a .649 winning percentage. In 17 seasons as a member of the BIG EAST, the Irish own a 169-135 (.556) record in conference regular-season play.
FIGHTING IRISH CAPTAINS
Scott Martin (GS/G), Jack Cooley (Sr./F) and Eric Atkins (Jr./G) will captain the Fighting Irish during the 2012-13 season. Martin and Atkins are the 20th and 21st players in program history to serve as two-time team captains.
Notre Dame has earned appearances in the postseason in each of the last 13 seasons, which marks the longest stretch in school history. The Irish have been to the NCAA Tournament on eight occasions and the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) five times during this current stretch. Under head coach Mike Brey, Notre Dame has played in the NCAAs eight times and NIT four times.
Sophomore guard/forward Pat Connaughton also is a pitcher on the Fighting Irish baseball team. Last spring, he appeared in 12 games, including 10 starts, and posted a 4-4 record with a 3.18 earned-run average. He logged 45.1 innings on the mound and registered 40 strikeouts.
Connaughton was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 50th round of the 2011 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.
IRISH HELP HURRICANE SANDY VICTIMS
During the first timeout of the Rutgers game on Jan. 19 inside Purcell Pavilion, a check was presented to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in the amount of $10,033 to help with relief efforts for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. A special online auction was held from Jan. 7-18 on Notre Dame's official athletic web site UND.com and fans had the opportunity to bid on several unique items with the proceeds going to help with the relief efforts. Governor Christie is a longtime friend of Irish head coach Mike Brey.
JACKSON NAMED MCDONALD'S ALL-AMERICAN
Demetrius Jackson, who signed a national letter of intent in November and will join the Fighting Irish next season, has been named to the 2013 McDonald's High School All-America Team. The 2013 McDonald's All-American Game will take place April 3 at the United Center in Chicago.
Jackson (Mishawaka, Ind./Marian) is the 15th McDonald's All-American to play at Notre Dame and the fifth under head coach Mike Brey. Jackson is Notre Dame's first McDonald's All-American since Luke Zeller in 2005.
Jackson is part of a talented four-man class that will join the Fighting Irish for the 2013-14 campaign. Joining him will be V.J. Beachem (Fort Wayne, Ind./New Haven), Austin Torres (Mishawaka, Ind./Penn) and Steve Vasturia (Medford, N.J./St. Joseph's Prep).
IRISH RANK NUMBER ONE IN 2012 GSR
University of Notre Dame athletic programs again rank as the best in the country in graduation rates, based on Graduation Success Rate (GSR) figures released by the NCAA--including first-place ratings in the sports of football, men's basketball, women's basketball and ice hockey.
Among the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision institutions, Notre Dame had the highest percentage of its sports with 100 percent scores (for the seventh time in eight years), with a .863 figure (19 of 22).
In men's basketball, Notre Dame achieved a perfect 100 GSR rating, with only Duke, Illinois, Kansas, Utah State, Wake Forest, West Virginia and Western Kentucky also reaching the top slot.
The four-year GSR data is based upon the entering classes from 2002 to 2005.