IRISH TO FACE FLORIDA STATE ON SUNDAY IN NCAA THIRD ROUND
Fifth-ranked Notre Dame (27-6) will face Florida State (22-10) on Sunday in the third round of the 2011 NCAA Championship at the United Center in Chicago, Ill. Tip-off is slated for 9:40 p.m. (ET)/8:40 p.m. (CT). The game can be seen live on TBS. The Fighting Irish are the No. 2 seed from the Southwest Region, while the Seminoles are the No. 10 seed in the region. The winner will advance to the Southwest Regional in San Antonio, Texas.
Notre Dame defeated 15th-seeded Akron, 69-56, in Friday's second round. Florida State topped No. 7 seed Texas A&M, 57-50, in Friday's action.
This will be the first meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Florida State.
Notre Dame is 13-2 in its last 15 contests.
The Fighting Irish are making their 31st appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Notre Dame boasts an all-time record of 31-34 in the NCAA Championship. This is the second straight trip for the Irish and the seventh in 11 seasons under head coach Mike Brey. Brey has a 6-6 NCAA Tournament record during his Notre Dame tenure.
The No. 2 seed is the highest for Notre Dame since the Irish were the No. 2 seed in 1981. That season, Notre Dame defeated James Madison in a second-round game and then fell 51-50 to BYU in a regional semifinal in Atlanta.
Notre Dame opened the second half versus Akron on a 9-0 run en route to the 69-56 victory on Friday. The Irish led 34-30 at halftime. Notre Dame held Akron to 35.9% (23-64) shooting from the field for the entire game.
The Fighting Irish held a 41-32 advantage in rebounds over the Zips. Senior forward Carleton Scott matched a career-high total with 14 rebounds.
The Irish were 20-26 from the free throw line, while the Zips were 3-6.
Notre Dame had 16 assists on its 21 made baskets.
IRISH LOOKING FOR SWEET SUCCESS
A win on Sunday would put Notre Dame into the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Championship for the second time under head coach Mike Brey. Brey guided the Irish to the Sweet 16 of the 2003 NCAA Tournament with wins over Wisconsin-Milwaukee (70-69) and Illinois (68-60). Notre Dame fell to Arizona (88-71) in the semifinals of the 2003 West Regional.
IRISH VS. THE ACC
Sunday will be Notre Dame's first game against an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) opponent since a 102-87 loss to North Carolina during the title game of the 2008 EA Sports Maui Invitational. Notre Dame's last win against an ACC foe was an 81-74 triumph of Maryland during the 2006-07 campaign.
The last time Notre Dame faced an ACC team in the NCAA Championship was during the 2002 tournament when the Irish fell to Duke, 84-77, in the second round.
BREY NO STRANGER TO NCAA TOURNAMENT
Mike Brey is no stranger to NCAA Tournament success. He has a 6-8 record in the NCAA Tournament as a head coach (6-6 at Notre Dame) and is 5-2 in the round of 64 with the Irish (5-4 all-time). In Sunday's matchup with Florida State, he will be coaching in his 51st NCAA Tournament contest. In 15 coaching appearances (as either a head coach or assistant coach), he is 37-13 (.740) with six Final Four appearances and two national titles as an assistant coach. Brey reached the NCAA Tournament as an assistant at Duke from 1988-95. In that span, Mike Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils posted a 31-5 mark that included Final Four berths in 1988, '89, '90, '91, '92 and '94. From 1988-92, Duke reached the Final Four in five consecutive seasons and compiled a 25-3 record, including back-to-back national titles in '91 and '92. As head coach at Delaware, he guided the Blue Hens to NCAA Tournament berths in 1998 and 1999.
IRISH IN THE BIG DANCE UNDER BREY
Notre Dame is 6-6 under head coach Mike Brey in the BIG EAST Championship.
In 2010, the sixth-seeded Irish dropped a first-round South Region game 51-50 to #11 seed Old Dominion in New Orleans.
In 2008, the fifth-seeded Irish defeated #12 George Mason 68-50 in a first-round game in Denver, before losing a second-round contest 61-41 to #4 Washington State.
In 2007, the sixth-seeded Irish dropped a first-round Midwest Region game in Spokane to 11th-seeded Winthrop.
In 2003, the fifth-seeded Irish defeated Wisconsin-Milwaukee in an NCAA first-round game and fourth-seeded Illinois in a second-round matchup (both in Indianapolis) before falling in a West Regional semifinal to top-seeded Arizona in Anaheim, Calif.
In 2002, the eighth-seeded Irish men defeated Charlotte in the first round in Greenville, S.C., before falling to top-seeded Duke in the second round.
In 2001, sixth-seeded Notre Dame defeated Xavier in the first round in Kansas City, Mo., before dropping a second-round game to third-seeded Ole Miss.
IRISH AGAINST THE NCAA FIELD
Notre Dame faced 15 teams that earned a berth to the 2011 NCAA Championship. The Irish went 14-6 against those squads. Here is how the Fighting Irish faired against those teams based on seeds ...
FIGHTING IRISH AT THE UNITED CENTER
The Fighting Irish only had to travel approximately 95 miles from the University of Notre Dame campus to compete in the NCAA Tournament's Southwest Region at the United Center in Chicago, Ill.
This is Notre Dame's first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance inside the United Center. The Irish are 3-1 all-time in the facility, including Friday's victory over Akron. Notre Dame lost to DePaul 61-48 on Dec. 10,1994; defeated DePaul 82-55 on Dec. 1. 2001; and defeated Valparaiso 55-53 on Dec. 30, 2002.
BEATING THE BEST
Notre Dame is 8-3 against ranked foes this season. The Irish have defeated seven of the last eight ranked opponents they have faced. Notre Dame's seven regular-season victories over teams from the top-25 are a school record as are the eight ranked wins overall.
Notre Dame has earned appearances in the postseason in each of the last 12 years, which marks the longest stretch in school history. The Irish have been to the NCAA Tournament on seven 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 seven times and NIT four times.
IRISH HAUL IN CONFERENCE HARDWARE
Senior guard Ben Hansbrough was named the 2010-11 BIG EAST Player of the Year. He became the fourth player in program history to earn that distinction, joining Pat Garrity (1997), Troy Murphy (2000 & 2001) and Luke Harangody (2008).
Head coach Mike Brey was named the league's coach of the year for the third time in the last five seasons.
Senior forward Tim Abromaitis was named the BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the second straight season.
Senior guard Scott Martin was named to the 2011 BIG EAST Championship All-Tournament Team.
A SUPER SEASON
This season's 27 wins are the most during the Mike Brey era at Notre Dame (11 seasons). The previous high was 25 in 2007-08. The 27 victories are the most in the modern era of Notre Dame basketball. Notre Dame's highest win total ever was 33 (33-7) in 1908-09.
This year's 14 regular-season BIG EAST victories also tie the program standard. The Fighting Irish went 14-4 in BIG EAST play in 2007-08.
Notre Dame's 15 BIG EAST wins (14 regular season, 1 tournament) this season are the most in program history (combined regular season and tournament.
WHAT A RUN
Notre Dame has posted a 96-41 (.701) record over the past four seasons. The 96 wins are the most victories in program history over a four-year span. The previous standard was 93 from when the Irish went 93-43 from 2006-10. The past four seasons also has produced the most regular-season BIG EAST victories (46) in school history. The Irish have gone 46-26 in BIG EAST regular-season play over the past four seasons.
TAKING CARE OF THE CLOSE ONES
Notre Dame is 6-0 this season in games decided by five points or less. Five of those contests occurred during BIG EAST play.
Notre Dame is 5-4 on the road this season. The five road wins, which all occurred in BIG EAST play, are the most for the Irish since the 2007-08 campaign when that squad went 5-4 away from home. The Fighting Irish are 5-2 at neutral sites this season.
Notre Dame has shot 50% or above from the floor 12 times this season, including three times in the past five games.
Against Villanova (Feb. 28), the Irish were 29-52 (.558) from the floor. Notre Dame shot a blistering 62.5% from three-point range (20-32) versus the Wildcats. That was the highest three-point shooting percentage in a BIG EAST game in school history.
Notre Dame has scored 90-plus points six times this season. Notre Dame's 94 points in a 94-93 win at Providence (Feb. 23) was the highest point-total in a BIG EAST contest for the Irish since a 103-84 win at Providence during the 2008-09 campaign.
IRISH SENSATIONAL ON SENIOR NIGHT
The 93-72 win over Villanova on Feb. 28 provided several noteworthy accomplishments for the Fighting Irish ...
Notre Dame made a school-record 20 three-pointers (20-32). The previous high was 19 against South Dakota on Dec. 2, 2008. The 20 treys also matched a BIG EAST record. West Virginia made 20 against Marquette on Jan. 14, 2006.
Tim Abromaitis tied the Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center record with nine made three-pointers (9-13). Kyle McAlarney netted nine three-pointers on Feb. 24, 2008 against Syracuse and then again on Nov. 30, 2008 against Furman. Ryan Ayers also hit nine three-pointers on Dec. 2, 2008 versus South Dakota.
Hansbrough and Tyrone Nash both registered double-doubles in their final games inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. Hansbrough dished out a career-high tying 10 assists to go along with 30 points to produce his third career double-double (first of the season). Nash recorded his fourth double-double of the season - and fifth of his career - with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Hansbrough became the first Irish player to score 30-plus points and dish off 10-plus assists in a game since Chris Thomas in 2001-02 (his freshman season) when he did it against Rutgers (32 pts., 11 asts.) and Miami (32 pts., 12 asts.).
PURCELL PROVES KIND TO IRISH
Notre Dame is the only BIG EAST team that did not lose at home in 2010-11.
The Fighting Irish concluded their 2010-11 home slate with a perfect 17-0 mark. It's the third undefeated season at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center in the last five years and the fifth overall for Notre Dame since the building opened at the start of the 1968-69 campaign. The other perfect home seasons occurred in: 1973-74 (15-0), 1985-86 (15-0), 2006-07 (18-0) and 2007-08 (17-0).
The Irish have won 19 straight games overall at home.
Over the last five seasons, Notre Dame is 84-6 (.933) overall at Purcell Pavilion and 40-5 (.889) in BIG EAST play.
Hansbrough has reached double-figures in points a team-high 31 times this season (out of 33 games), while Abromaitis has netted double-digits 28 times.
Hansbrough has led the Irish in scoring a team-best 20 times this season, while Abromaitis has done so on nine occasions.
Hansbrough has scored 20-plus points a team-best 15 times this season, while Abromaitis has done so on 11 occasions.
Hansbrough and Abromaitis both scored 30 points in the 93-72 triumph of Villanova (Feb. 28). They accounted for 16 of Notre Dame's school-record 20 made three-pointers (Abromaitis 9, Hansbrough 7) in the contest.
In the 60-48 win over Seton Hall on Feb. 26, Abromaitis netted 22 points, while Hansbrough had 21. Hansbrough (32) and Abromaitis (28) combined for 60 of Notre Dame's 94 points in the win at Providence on Feb. 23.
HANSBROUGH NAMED SECOND TEAM ALL-AMERICAN BY USBWA
Ben Hansbrough was a second team All-America selection by the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). It marks the third straight year Notre Dame has had a player named to one of the two teams.
He also is one of 20 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award that includes three other BIG EAST players (Marshon Brooks-Providence; Dwight Hardy-St. John's and Kemba Walker-Connecticut).
HANSBROUGH STAYING HOT
Over the past 14 games, Ben Hansbrough is averaging 21.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists. He is shooting 53.2% (100-188) from the floor during those 14 contests. The Irish are 12-2 in that stretch.
Hansbrough netted a career-high 32 points on Feb. 23 at Providence. He deposited 30 against Villanova (Feb. 28).
He currently has a career-high 16-game double-figure scoring streak. That's the longest double-digit scoring streak for the Irish this season.
Hansbrough made a career-high seven three-pointers (on 10 attempts) against Villanova (Feb. 28). He also matched a career-high total with 10 assists versus the Wildcats to notch his first double-double of the season (third of his career).
HANSBROUGH HELPS IN MANY WAYS
For the season, Ben Hansbrough is averaging a career-best - and team-high - 18.4 points per game. Hansbrough has a team-best 143 assists (4.3 apg) and a team-high 41 steals (1.2 spg). He also is averaging a team-high 35.4 minutes played per game.
He averaged 20.7 points per game in BIG EAST play.
Hansbrough has led the Irish in scoring in 13 of the past 16 games and a team-best 20 times this season.
He has made at least five three-pointers in a game seven times this season.
Hansbrough has notched at least five assists in a game 15 times this season.
He is shooting 82.0% (146-178) from the free throw line this season. Hansbrough was 6-6 from the charity stripe on Friday versus Akron.
HANSBROUGH HITS 1,000-POINT MARK AT NOTRE DAME
With his second point of the game against Louisville in the BIG EAST Tournament (March 11), Ben Hansbrough became the 52nd player in Notre Dame history to score 1,000 points. Hansbrough has netted 1,026 points over the course of 68 games (15.1 ppg) during his two seasons with the Irish.
Hansbrough scored his 1,000th career point overall in the season opener against Georgia Southern. He has 1,595 career points combined from his two seasons at Mississippi State and two campaigns with the Irish.
ABROMAITIS NETS 1,000TH POINT
Tim Abromaitis netted his 1,000th career point on Feb. 26 versus Seton Hall. He was the 51st player in Notre Dame history to reach that milestone.
Abromaitis has a 13.6 scoring average in 80 career outings. After scoring just 20 points during his freshman season in 2007-08 and sitting out the 2008-09 campaign, Abromaitis has scored 1,068 points over the course of the last 68 games for a 15.7 scoring average.
A IS FOR ABROMAITIS
Tim Abromaitis has scored in double-figures in 11 of the past 12 games and 28 times overall this season (out of 33 games).
Abromaitis scored a season-high 30 points against Villanova (Feb. 28). That was his third-career 30-plus point game. He tied the Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center record with a career-high nine made three-pointers (on 13 attempts) versus Villanova.
Abromaitis has netted 20-plus points in a game 11 times this season.
Abromaitis' point (15.3) and rebound (6.1) averages rank second on the team.
IRISH SECURE FIFTH STRAIGHT 20-WIN CAMPAIGN
Notre Dame has reached the 20-win mark for the fifth consecutive season and for the eighth time in the last 11 seasons under head coach Mike Brey. The last time Irish teams reached the 20-win plateau in five straight campaigns was from 1983-89 when those Notre Dame squads under Digger Phelps strung together six consecutive 20-win seasons.
SCOTT PROVIDES A SPARK
Notre Dame is 25-4 this season when Carleton Scott has played and the Irish are 13-2 since he's returned from a hamstring injury.
Scott had to leave the Syracuse contest (Jan. 1), a 70-58 loss, in the second half after suffering the injury. Notre Dame went 2-2 in the next four contests without his services. Scott returned to game action on Jan. 19 versus Cincinnati, a 66-58 Irish win. He returned to the starting lineup on Jan. 22 versus Marquette (an 80-75 win) and notched a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
GOOD SHOWINGS FOR SCOTT
Senior forward Carleton Scott matched a career-high total with 14 rebounds on Friday versus Akron. He is averaging 11.0 points and 12.0 rebounds in two career NCAA Tournament games. Scott also had three blocked shots and three steals against Akron.
Scott has a team-high seven double-doubles this season and he has hauled down 10 or more rebounds in a game 10 times this season.
Despite missing four games earlier this season with a hamstring injury, Scott has been one of Notre Dame's top performers this season. Scott has scored in double-figures 20 times this season (out of 29 games played).
Scott's five made three-pointers at Pittsburgh (Jan. 24) were a career-high total. He is shooting 37.1% (46-124) from three-point range this season.
He netted a career-high 23 points versus Gonzaga on Dec. 11.
Scott is shooting a team-best 88.5% (54-61) from the free throw line this season. He produced a 92.0% (23-25) mark from the charity stripe in BIG EAST play.
Scott's perfect 8-8 performance from the field against Stony Brook (Dec. 19) ranks in a tie for third all-time in program history for most made field goals in a game without a miss. He was 4-4 from three-point range versus the Seawolves.
Senior forward Carleton Scott has a team-best - and career-high - 53 blocked shots this season (1.8 per game).
Scott blocked three shots in Friday's win over Akron. Scott has blocked at least two shots in 10 of the last 12 games and 19 times overall this season. He has swatted three or more shots in a game nine times this season. Scott tied a career-high total with a season-high four blocked shots against Indiana State (Nov. 30) and Cincinnati (March 10).
IRISH AMONG NATION'S BEST IN PROTECTING THE BASKETBALL
Notre Dame's 1.55 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks third nationally. The Irish have registered 551 assists on their 824 made field goals this season (.669). The Fighting Irish average just 10.8 turnovers per game.
Notre Dame has notched at least 20 assists in a game 10 times this season. The Irish had a season-high 29 assists (on 34 made field goals) versus Chicago State (Nov. 17). Notre Dame is 10th nationally in assists per game (16.7).
Senior guard Ben Hansbrough leads the Irish with 143 assists (4.3 apg). Freshman point guard Eric Atkins is second with 105 (3.2 apg). Atkins has a team-best 2.56 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Notre Dame committed a season-low five turnovers against Cincinnati in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Championship. The Irish did not commit a turnover in the second half of the Cincinnati contest. The Irish have had fewer than 10 turnovers in a game 11 times this season.
ROOKIE HANDLING THE ROCK
Freshman point guard Eric Atkins boasts a team-best 2.56 assist-to-turnover ratio. He ranks 17th nationally in that category. He is second on the team with 105 assists (3.2 apg).
Atkins had a 2.73 assist-to-turnover ratio in BIG EAST regular-season games, which ranked first among all of the league's players.
The rookie has dished out five-plus assists in a game nine times this season, including a career-high seven against St. John's (Jan. 16) and USF (Feb. 12).
Atkins has led the Irish in assists nine times this season.
PERFORMING IN THE POST
Notre Dame is 15-2 this season when senior forward Tyrone Nash scores at least 10 points.
Nash has led the Irish in assists eight times this season. He has registered five or more assists in a game six times this season, including a career-high seven versus Chicago State (Nov. 17) and Providence (Feb. 23).
Nash's career-high 88 assists (2.7 apg) rank third among all Notre Dame players this season. He also is third in rebound average with a 5.9 mark and boasts a team-high 79 offensive rebounds.
Nash has produced four double-doubles this season.
CONTRIBUTIONS FROM COOLEY
Sophomore forward Jack Cooley is an efficient 55-83 (.663) from the field this season.
Cooley scored a career-high 18 points and hauled down a career-high tying eight rebounds on Feb. 12 at USF. Cooley made his first nine shots of the contest before missing his final attempt from the field.
Overall, Cooley had made 15 straight field goal attempts before the miss against the Bulls. Cooley made his final field goal attempt versus Rutgers (Feb. 6) and made all five of his tries against Louisville (Feb. 9).
Cooley has four double-digit scoring efforts this season.
DRAINING FROM DEEP
The Fighting Irish are 266-678 (.392) from three-point range this season. That percentage ranks 16th nationally. Notre Dame has hit 10 or more three pointers in a game seven times this season (all wins), including a school-record 20 treys against Villanova (Feb. 28). The Irish are averaging 8.1 made three-pointers per game, which is the 22nd-best mark in the country.
The Irish are 231-552 (.418) from three-point range in their 27 wins and they are 35-126 (.278) in the six losses.
Ben Hansbrough is shooting at a team-best 43.7% clip (83-190) from beyond the arc this season. That mark ranks 12th nationally.
Tim Abromaitis tied a Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center record with a career-high nine made three-pointers (on 13 attempts) against Villanova (Feb. 28). Hansbrough deposited a career-high seven treys (on 10 attempts) versus Villanova.
407 AND COUNTING
Heading into the Florida State contest, Notre Dame has made at least one three-pointer in 406 straight contests dating back to the 1998-99 campaign. The Fighting Irish have made at least one three pointer during every game of the Mike Brey era. The last time an Irish team failed to hit a three-pointer in a game was in a 101-70 loss to Connecticut at the Hartford Civic Center on Jan. 12, 1999. Notre Dame finished 0-7 from beyond the arc in that contest. In 2008-09, the Irish set a single-season three-point record with 319.
IRISH FUN FACT UNDER BREY
Notre Dame teams under Mike Brey have always ranked among the best teams in the nation and BIG EAST in assists and three-point shooting. In 11 seasons with Brey on the sidelines, Notre Dame is 74-9 when Irish teams have 20 or more assists and are 73-28 when making 10 or more three-pointers.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
Notre Dame has had at least four double-figure scorers in 15 games this season. The Fighting Irish are 14-1 in those contests.
In the 78-55 win at USF (Feb. 12), the Irish had six players reach double-figures in points for the first time ever in a BIG EAST game. Jack Cooley (18), Carleton Scott (13), Tim Abromaitis (12), Ben Hansbrough (12), Scott Martin (10) and Tyrone Nash (10) all netted double-digits. It's the second time this season Notre Dame has had six double-figure scorers. Those same six players all did so versus Maine (Nov. 22).
Notre Dame has had at least five players reach double-digits in the same contest seven times.
Seven different Notre Dame players have led the team in scoring during a game this season. Ben Hansbrough has led the Irish in scoring a team-best 20 times, including one tie with Tim Abromaitis, who has led the Irish in points on eight occasions. Carleton Scott has done so three times, including one tie with Eric Atkins, who has posted a team-high point total twice this season. Jack Cooley, Scott Martin and Tyrone Nash have led the Irish in scoring once each.
With his career-high 21 points against Louisville in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Championship, Scott Martin became the fourth Notre Dame player to score 20 or more points in a game this season. Ben Hansbrough has done so 15 times, while Tim Abromaitis has scored 20-plus points 11 times. Carleton Scott has accomplished the feat twice this season.
FIRST HALF FLURRY
Notre Dame opponents are averaging just 29.3 points in the first half of play this season, while the Irish are averaging 37.2 points during the first stanza.
Notre Dame held USF to just 17 first-half points on Feb 12. That marked the fourth time this season Notre Dame has held an opponent to under 20 points in the first half. The other times were against California (5 points), Wisconsin (19) and Cincinnati (19).
Notre Dame is 21-2 this season when leading at the intermission. The losses were to West Virginia (27-26 halftime lead) on Feb. 19 and Louisville (46-32) on March 11.
Notre Dame has been outscored by 88 points (257-169; 14.7 average) in the second half of its six setbacks.
Notre Dame has held 15 of its opponents to 40% or below shooting from the field. The Irish limited Akron to just 35.9% (23-64) shooting during Friday's second round contest.
The Irish held California to 26.2% (16-61) shooting on Nov. 26 during the second round of the Old Spice Classic.
Seton Hall's 48 points on Feb. 26 were the fewest scored by an Irish opponent in a BIG EAST game this season. It was the second time this season the Irish have held an opponent to under 50 points. Notre Dame held California to 44 points.
LIVING LARGE AT THE LINE
The Fighting Irish have 101 more made free throws than their opponents have attempts from the charity stripe. The Fighting Irish are 587-808 (.726) from the free throw line this season. Irish opponents are 345-486 (.710) from the line.
The Irish are 23-0 this season when making more free throws than their opponent.
The Irish have made 20 or more free throws in a game 14 times this season. The Irish were 20-26 on Friday against Akron. Notre Dame made a season-high 30 free throws (on 43 attempts) versus Georgia, an 89-83 double-overtime Irish victory.
Against Maine, Notre Dame shot a season-best 92.6% from the free throw line (25-27). The Fighting Irish also shot above 90% from the charity stripe against Stony Brook as they connected on 11 of 12 shots (91.7%).
HITTING THE GLASS
The Fighting Irish are 23-1 this season when out-rebounding their opponent. Notre Dame held a 41-32 advantage in boards on Friday against Akron.
Notre Dame boasts a +4.6 overall rebound margin this season. The Irish have a +7.2 margin in their 27 wins, while they are -7.0 in their six losses. Notre Dame has been out-rebounded in five of its six losses.
Senior forward Carleton Scott is averaging a team-high 7.3 rebounds per game. Tyrone Nash leads the team with 79 offensive rebounds.
Seniors Tim Abromaitis (F), Ben Hansbrough (G), Scott Martin (G), Tyrone Nash (F) and Carleton Scott (F) have combined for 159 of a possible 165 starts this season. Notre Dame is 23-4 when that quintet starts. Nash, Abromaitis and Hansbrough have started all 33 games this season, while Martin has 32 starts. Scott started the first 14 contests of the season before suffering a hamstring injury versus Syracuse (Jan. 1). He returned to the starting lineup on Jan. 22 versus Marquette. Scott has 28 starts this season.
Tim Abromaitis, Ben Hansbrough and Tyrone Nash have played in all 68 games over the past two seasons. Nash and Hansbrough both have started all 68 of those contests. Overall, Nash has played in a team-best 83 straight contests. The last game he did not play in was at Cincinnati on Feb. 4, 2009.
LOOKING AT THE NUMBERS
Notre Dame has scored less than 60 points in five of its six losses this season. The Irish are 3-5 this season when scoring fewer than 60 points. The Irish are averaging 60.3 points per game in the six setbacks and 79.2 points in their 27 victories.
The Irish are surrendering 63.3 points per game in their wins and they are allowing 74.7 points per game in their losses.
A SUCCESSFUL STRETCH
Notre Dame is 33-8 (.805) in its last 41 games dating back to last season. Following a double-overtime loss to Louisville (91-89) in Freedom Hall on Feb. 17, 2010, the Irish won their final four regular-season games in 2009-10 (Pittsburgh, Georgetown, Connecticut and Marquette) and won two games in the BIG EAST Tournament (Seton Hall and Pittsburgh) before losing to West Virginia in the conference championship semifinals and to Old Dominion in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
BREY REACHES BIG EAST MILESTONE
Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey notched his 100th BIG EAST regular-season victory with the 73-70 win over Connecticut on Jan. 4. Brey is the sixth coach in BIG EAST Conference history with 100 regular-season league wins. Brey's Irish teams are 112-72 (.609) all-time in regular-season BIG EAST play.
Mike Brey is in his 11th season along the Irish sidelines. He is the third-longest tenured coach in the BIG EAST, behind only Jim Boeheim of Syracuse and Jim Calhoun of Connecticut. Brey stands sixth all-time in career BIG EAST victories (both regular-season and tournament) with his 119-83 (.589) mark. He is one of eight coaches in BIG EAST history to record 100 conference wins.
106 YEARS AND STRONG
The 2010-11 campaign marks the 106th season of basketball at Notre Dame and the 16th season as a member of the BIG EAST Conference. Notre Dame teams have posted a 1701-926 record for a .648 winning percentage. In 15 seasons as a member of the BIG EAST, the Irish own a 147-125 (.540) record all-time in conference regular-season play.