March 24, 2015
2015 NCAA Championship
Midwest Regional Semifinal
Wichita State (30-4) #7 seed
Notre Dame (31-5) #3 seed
Thursday, March 26, 2015
7:15 p.m. (ET)
Quicken Loans Arena – Cleveland, Ohio
Marv Albert (play-by-play)
Chris Webber (analyst)
Len Elmore (analyst)
Lewis Johnson (reporter)
Sirius/XM (check listings)
Notre Dame Radio
Check affiliates on Pg. 3 of notes packet
Jack Nolan (play-by-play)
Torrian Jones (analyst)
NOTRE DAME TO FACE WICHITA STATE IN SWEET 16
– No. 3 seed Notre Dame (31-5, 14-4 ACC) will take on No. 7 seed Wichita State (30-4, 17-1 MVC) Thursday in the Midwest Regional semifinal in Cleveland, Ohio. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. (ET) inside Quicken Loans Arena.
– The Fighting Irish are making their first Sweet 16 appearance since 2003.
– Thursday’s contest can be seen on CBS with Marv Albert (play-by-play), Chris Webber (analyst), Len Elmore (analyst) and Lewis Johnson (reporter) on the call.
– Jack Nolan (play-by-play) and Torrian Jones (analyst) will be on the Notre Dame radio call. The broadcast can be heard on The Notre Basketball Radio Network headed by WSBT 96.1 FM and 960 AM in South Bend. A complete affiliate list is available on page 3 of this notes packet. The broadcast also is available on Sirius/XM (check listings).
– The winner of the Notre Dame-Wichita State contest will face the Kentucky-West Virginia winner on Saturday in the Midwest Regional final.
– Notre Dame upped its win streak to seven games with victories over Northeastern (69-65) and Butler (67-64 in OT) in the second and third rounds of the NCAA Championship in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
FIGHTING IRISH IN THE SWEET 16
– Notre Dame is making its 16th appearance in the regional semifinals and the first since 2003. That year, the Irish fell to Arizona, 88-71, in the Sweet 16.
– The Irish are 5-10 all-time in the regional semifinals. Notre Dame’s last Sweet 16 win was a 79-71 triumph of Toledo in 1979.
A SOLID RECORD AGAINST THE SWEET 16
– Notre Dame is 7-1 this season against its fellow Sweet 16 teams (2-1 vs. Duke, 2-0 vs. North Carolina, 1-0 vs. Louisville, 1-0 vs. NC State, 1-0 vs. Michigan State). The seven wins are tied with Duke (7-3) for the most.
IRISH PRODUCING ANOTHER SUPER SEASON
– This season’s 31 wins are the second-most in Notre Dame history. The program record is 33 victories in 1908-09 (33-7).
NOTRE DAME IN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
– Notre Dame boasts an all-time record of 33-37 in the NCAA tournament (34 appearances).
– This is Notre Dame’s fourth trip in the last five seasons and the 10th appearance in 15 campaigns under head coach Mike Brey. Brey has an 8-9 NCAA Championship record during his Notre Dame tenure.
– Notre Dame is 5-0 in postseason play this season (3-0 ACC tournament, 2-0 NCAA tournament).
– Those five games have been decided by 32 points (6.4 ppg.).
– All five Fighting Irish starters are averaging double-figures in points in those games – Jerian Grant 16.6, Zach Auguste 13.4, Steve Vasturia 12.4, Demetrius Jackson 12.0, Pat Connaughton 11.8.
– The Irish are shooting 50.6 percent from the field (38.2 percent from three-point range). Notre Dame opponents have been held to a 43.5 percent mark from the floor (25.9 from three-point range).
THE SERIES WITH THE SHOCKERS
– Notre Dame and Wichita State have only met twice on the hardwood. The Fighting Irish topped the Shockers, 88-78, on Jan. 24, 1990 in South Bend, while Wichita State produced a 60-50 home victory over Notre Dame on Jan. 10, 1991.
– Notre Dame and Wichita State have no common opponents this season.
– Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall was the head coach at Winthrop when the Eagles topped Notre Dame, 74-64, in the first round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament.
A MEETING WITH THE MISSOURI VALLEY
– Thursday will be Notre Dame’s first game versus a Missouri Valley Conference opponent since an 83-70 setback to Indiana State last season (Nov. 17, 2013).
– The Irish are 54-14 all-time against teams currently in the MVC.
– Notre Dame is 14-3 this season in games played away from Purcell Pavilion (7-2 road, 7-1 neutral). The 14 road/neutral wins are the most for the Irish since the 1957-58 season when they also won 14 away from home (14-3).
– Notre Dame finished its ACC road schedule with a 7-2 record. The Fighting Irish had never won six conference road games in a single campaign prior to this season.
FIGHTING IRISH SURGING INTO NCAA TOURNAMENT
– Notre Dame entered the NCAA Tournament on a five-game winning streak, the longest winning streak for the program entering the NCAAs since the 1986-87 season. That year the Irish won their last nine regular-season games before entering the tournament. The Irish reached the Sweet 16 that year before losing to North Carolina.
BREY BOASTS NCAA TOURNAMENT EXPERIENCE
– Mike Brey has plenty of NCAA Championship experience both as a head coach and as an assistant coach. He has an 8-11 record in the NCAA Championship as a head coach (8-9 at Notre Dame) and is 6-4 in opening-round games with the Irish (6-6 all-time).
– This is the second time he has guided the Fighting Irish to the Sweet 16 (2003).
– In Thursday’s matchup with Wichita State, he will be coaching in his 56th NCAA Championship contest. In 18 coaching appearances (as either a head coach or assistant coach), he is 39-16 (.709) 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 CLAIM ACC CROWN
– With its 90-82 win over North Carolina in the title game of the ACC Tournament, Notre Dame won its first conference tourney in school history. The Fighting Irish played in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Tournament on six occasions, but never reached the championship game.
– The Fighting Irish claimed the championship in their second year of membership in the Atlantic Coast Conference, becoming the first school outside of the league’s original membership to win the title in its first or second year in the ACC.
– Notre Dame became the third team from outside North Carolina to win the tournament title in the Tar Heel state by defeating both UNC and Duke along the way, joining Maryland (1958) and Georgia Tech (1993).
– Jerian Grant tallied 24 points and 10 assists versus the Tar Heels and was named tournament MVP. In three ACC Tournament games, Grant averaged 16.7 points and 6.3 assists.
– Pat Connaughton and Steve Vasturia joined Grant on the all-tournament first team, while Demetrius Jackson was a second-team selection.
– Grant (24) and Connaughton (20) both scored 20-plus points versus the Tar Heels. It was the second time during their careers that they both netted 20-plus points in the same contest (Delaware last season).
– Notre Dame and head coach Mike Brey defeated Mike Krzyzewski of Duke in the ACC semifinals and Roy Williams of North Carolina in the finals to win the ACC Championship. Both Krzyzewski and Williams are already in the Naismith Hall of Fame.
– Brey became just the second coach to win the ACC Championship with two victories over coaches already in the Naismith Hall of Fame. Current Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton accomplished the feat at the 2012 ACC Tournament with wins over Duke and North Carolina.
– Notre Dame has five wins this year over coaches who are already in the Naismith Hall of Fame. Brey and the Irish have two wins apiece over Krzyzewski and Williams and also defeated Rick Pitino and Louisville. In fact, Notre Dame has a five-game winning streak entering the NCAA Tournament and three of the five wins are over coaches in the Hall of Fame.
TOBACCO ROAD TAKEDOWNS
– Notre Dame became just the third non-North Carolina school to defeat Duke and North Carolina in an ACC Tournament played in the Tar Heel State when it defeated Duke in the semifinals and North Carolina in the finals. The other schools to do it are Maryland in 1958 and Georgia Tech in 1993.
– Notre Dame also defeated Duke and North Carolina during the regular season, so the Irish had two wins apiece over the Blue Devils and Tar Heels this year.
– Notre Dame is just the third school in the last 20 seasons to beat Duke and North Carolina twice in the same season. Georgia Tech was 2-0 vs. both schools in 1995-96 and Florida State was 2-1 vs. Duke and 2-0 vs. North Carolina in 2011-12. The Seminoles also defeated Duke and North Carolina in winning the ACC Championship in 2012, but the tournament was not in the state of North Carolina.
– Three of Notre Dame’s four total wins against Duke and North Carolina are away from home. Florida State is the only other school to accomplish that in the last 20 years.
– This season’s 14-4 ACC mark matched Notre Dame’s top conference record. The Fighting Irish went 14-4 in BIG EAST play twice (2007-08 & 2010-11).
– Notre Dame has won at least 10 conference games five times in the last six seasons.
– Head coach Mike Brey has guided the Irish to at least 10 league wins in 10 of his 15 seasons in South Bend (nine times in the BIG EAST and once in the ACC).
GRANT KEEPS IRISH OFFENSE GOING
– Jerian Grant has had a hand in 42.8 percent of Notre Dame’s 2,816 points this season. He’s netted a team-high 604 points and his team-best 236 assists have led to 600 Fighting Irish points.
– Grant has been involved in 159 of Notre Dame’s 289 made three-pointers this season (55.0%). He has made 48 treys and he’s assisted on 111.
– Grant has had a hand in 40 of Notre Dame’s 62 made three-pointers in the last 10 games (64.5%). He has made seven of those treys while assisting on 33.
GRANT HAS AN ALL-AROUND GAME
– Jerian Grant played all 85 minutes of Notre Dame’s first two NCAA Championship games (Northeastern & Butler) and averaged 16.5 points per contest. He was 12-of-24 from the field in those two games.
– Grant has scored in double-figures in each of the last 11 games, which is the longest active streak on the team.
– He has team-high averages for points (16.8) and assists (6.6) this season and he’s netted double-figures in a team-best 33 games (out of 36).
– Grant notched 24 points and 10 assists against North Carolina in the title game of the ACC Tournament. That was the third time this season he’s posted at least 20 points and 10 assists in a game.
– Grant has five double-doubles this season and nine during his career.
– He ranks eighth nationally in assists per game (6.5) and 13th in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.97).
– Grant has scored 20-plus points a team-best 11 times this season. He netted a career-high 27 points versus Michigan State (Dec. 3).
– Grant posted 23 points and a career-high 12 assists in the 77-73 triumph of Duke on Jan. 28. His 12 assists were the most ever for an Irish player in an ACC game.
– Grant’s 2.56 career assist-to-turnover ratio ranks fifth among active Division I players.
GRANT AMONG ALL-TIME NOTRE DAME GREATS
– Jerian Grant is the only player in Irish history with 1,700 points, 600 assists, 150 steals and 30 blocked shots.
– In Fighting Irish history, Grant ranks third in assists (673), fifth in steals (171), sixth in games started (115) and 12th in points (1,715).
GRANT & BREY UP FOR NATIONAL AWARDS
– Jerian Grant is a finalist for the Naismith Player of the Year Trophy and he is on the midseason watch list for the John R. Wooden Award. He also is a finalist for the Oscar Robertson Trophy and the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award.
– Mike Brey is a semifinalist for the Naismith Coach of the Year Award.
– Senior Pat Connaughton has played in all 137 games during his career and has started all but 16 of those contests. He ranks first in program history in games played and fourth in games started (121).
– Connaughton has started 118 consecutive games. He is the third player in Notre Dame history to start at least 100 straight games. Chris Thomas (2002-05) started all 128 games during his Fighting Irish career and Pat Garrity (1995-98) was in the starting lineup during all 111 contests of his career.
PAT’S A PLAYER
– Pat Connaughton leads the Irish in rebounding (7.3 rpg.) and is third in scoring (12.5 ppg.).
– Connaughton has 1,441 points and 804 rebounds during his Irish career. He is the eighth player in Notre Dame history with 1,400 points and 800 rebounds.
– Connaughton has a team-best eight double-doubles this season and his 15 career double-doubles are the most for any current Irish player.
– Nationally, Connaughton is 17th in three-point percentage (.427) and 37th in made three-pointers (90).
– Connaughton ranks fifth in Notre Dame history in made three-pointers (265).
– He is 34th nationally (second in the ACC) in defensive rebounds per game (6.25).
STARTING FIVE CONSISTENCY
– Demetrius Jackson, Jerian Grant, Steve Vasturia, Pat Connaughton and Zach Auguste have been Notre Dame’s starting five in 34 of 36 games this season.
– Jackson, Grant, Vasturia and Connaughton have started every game this season, while Auguste has 34 starts.
– Last season, the Irish used 12 different starting lineups.
NO LOSING STREAKS
– The Fighting Irish are 5-0 after losses this season. The last Notre Dame team to not lose back-to-back games in the same campaign was the 1988-89 squad.
CASHING IN FROM THE CHARITY STRIPE
– The Fighting Irish were 50-of-57 (.877) from the free throw line in the final two games of the ACC Tournament. Notre Dame was 30-of-40 (.750) in the opening two contests of the NCAA Championship.
– Jerian Grant set an ACC Tournament record for a championship game by making 15-of-18 free throws against North Carolina. The previous mark for free throws made in a championship game was 14 by Kyle Singler of Duke against Georgia Tech in 2010.
– Grant made 28-of-31 free throws for the three games in the tournament. His 28 made free throws were the most in a tournament by any player since 1962 when Len Chappell of Wake Forest made 33.
– Grant made his first 19 free throws of the tournament.
– Grant shot 90.3 percent from the foul line for the tournament and many were in the clutch. In the wins over Duke and North Carolina he was a combined 10-of-12 from the line inside the last five minutes.
– Notre Dame boasts the nation’s second-best field goal percentage (.510).
– The Irish shot a season-best 66.0 percent from the field against Boston College (Feb. 21). It was the third time this season (first in ACC play) that Notre Dame shot 60 percent from the floor. Notre Dame has shot 50.0 percent or better in 23 of 36 games this season.
TAKING CARE OF THE BASKETBALL
– Notre Dame is fourth nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.60) and fifth in fewest turnovers per game (9.4).
– The Fighting Irish have turned the ball over less than 10 times in 19 games this season.
– The Irish had a season-low four turnovers versus Michigan State (Dec. 3) and Clemson (March 7).
FIGHTING IRISH GET OFFENSIVE
– Notre Dame is 13th nationally in scoring (78.2 ppg.).
– The Fighting Irish scored 80-plus points seven times in ACC regular-season play, which was tied with Duke for the most in the league.
– The 90 points scored against North Carolina in the title game of the ACC Tournament were the most the Irish have ever netted in an ACC contest (regular season or tournament).
– Notre Dame’s 78.2 points-per-game average this season is the highest since the Irish averaged 79.0 ppg. during the 2007-08 campaign.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
– All five Fighting Irish starters are averaging at least 9.8 points per game this season – Jerian Grant (16.8), Zach Auguste (12.6), Pat Connaughton (12.5), Demetrius Jackson (12.4) and Steve Vasturia (9.8).
– Notre Dame has had five different leading scorers in the last seven games.
– Notre Dame matched a season-best mark with six double-figure scorers in the win at Boston College (Feb. 21). The Irish also had six double-digit scorers versus Purdue (Dec. 20).
– Notre Dame has had at least four players reach double-figures in 28 of 36 games this season.
– The Fighting Irish have had five or more double-digit scorers on 12 occasions.
– With his career-high 20-point effort on Saturday against Butler, Steve Vasturia became the fifth different Notre Dame player to tally 20 points in a game this season. Jerian Grant has done it a team-best 11 times, while Zach Auguste (4), Demetrius Jackson (3) and Pat Connaughton (3) also have netted 20-plus points on multiple occasions this season.
DRAINING FROM DEEP
– Notre Dame is 18th nationally in made three-point field goals (289) and 22nd in three-point field goal percentage (.389).
– Notre Dame has made 10 or more treys in a game 10 times this season. The Irish made a season-best 14 three-pointers (14-of-25) against Chicago State (Nov. 29).
– Four Irish players are shooting 40.0 percent or higher from three-point range (min. 90 att.) – Pat Connaughton (42.7%), V.J. Beachem (42.0%), Demetrius Jackson (41.7%) and Steve Vasturia (40.9%).
– Five Notre Dame players have made at least 42 treys this season – Connaughton (90), Vasturia (56), Jerian Grant (48), Jackson (50) and Beachem (42).
AUGUSTE IS HOT
– Junior forward Zach Auguste averaged 16.0 points and 9.0 rebounds in Notre Dame’s NCAA tournament wins over Northeastern and Butler. He was 12-of-21 (.571) from the field in those two games.
– His 25 points against Northeastern were one shy of his career-high mark and they were the most points for an Irish player in an NCAA tournament game since Torin Francis netted 25 against Arizona in the 2003 regional semifinals.
– Auguste tied a career-high total of 13 rebounds against Butler. He also had 13 boards versus North Carolina in the title game of the ACC Tournament.
– Auguste averaged 11.7 points and a team-best 9.3 rebounds per game in the ACC Tournament. He also had a team-high four blocked shots and was tied for the team lead in steals with six. Versus North Carolina in the title game, Auguste tallied 16 points and 13 rebounds. That was his fourth double-double of the season.
– Auguste has been perfect from the field three times this season – 9-9 vs. Coppin State, 7-7 vs. Northern Illinois, 5-5 vs. Grambling State. His performance against Coppin State tied a Notre Dame record for most field goals without a miss in a single game.
– Auguste netted a career-high 26 points against Florida State (Dec. 13). Those are the most points ever scored by an Irish player in an ACC game.
– Auguste is averaging 12.6 points per game after posting a 6.7 ppg. mark last season (+5.9).
– Sophomore Demetrius Jackson is shooting a team-best 56.1 percent (23-41) in Notre Dame’s five postseason games (ACC & NCAA tournaments). He is averaging 12.0 points, 4.4 assists and 1.8 steals in those five contests.
– He has posted a career-high 22 points twice this season (Michigan State & Purdue).
– Jackson is averaging 12.4 points per game after notching a 6.0 mark last season (+6.4).
STEVE ON A HOT STREAK
– Sophomore guard Steve Vasturia tallied a career-high 20 points in Saturday’s win over Butler. He also pulled down six rebounds against the Bulldogs.
– Vasturia has registered a double-digit point total 10 times in the last 14 games. He has reached double-figures 19 times overall this season.
– In Notre Dame’s five postseason contests, Vasturia is averaging 12.4 points per game and is shooting 51.3 percent (20-39) from the field and a team-best 47.4 percent (9-19) from three-point range. He also is 13-of-15 (.867) from the free throw line.
CAREER-HIGH OUTPUTS FOR COLSON
– Freshman forward Bonzie Colson has registered a career-high point total four times in the last nine games. He tallied 16 points against Boston College (Feb. 21) and Syracuse (Feb. 24) before posting 17 points at Louisville (March 4) and then versus Duke in the ACC semifinals (March 13).
– In ACC regular-season play he shot a team-best 67.2 percent (41-61) from the floor.
– Notre Dame has overcome a deficit of 10 points or larger en route to a victory six times this season (see breakdown on Pg. 5).
– The Irish are 6-3 this season when trailing at halftime. All six wins came in ACC play.
– The Irish are 9-3 this season in games decided by five points or less (6-2 in ACC play).
– Notre Dame’s opening two games of the NCAA Championship were decided by a total of seven points.
– Thirteen of Notre Dame’s 21 ACC contests (regular season & tournament) were decided by eight points or less and the Irish were 10-3 in those games.
– Last season, Notre Dame was 6-7 in games decided by five points or less.
BREY MOVES INTO SECOND PLACE ON NOTRE DAME WINS LIST
– With the victory over Duke in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament, head coach Mike Brey moved into second place on Notre Dame’s all-time wins list. He has compiled a 331-164 (.669) record in his 15 seasons in South Bend. Brey is second behind Digger Phelps on the Notre Dame wins list. Phelps posted a 393-197 record from 1971-91.
– Brey has registered a 430-216 (.666) record in 20 seasons at Delaware and Notre Dame.
IRISH ATHLETICS TO HONOR FATHER HESBURGH
– The University of Notre Dame athletics department will commemorate the legacy of long-time University president Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., in a number of ways. Father Hesburgh died February 26 at age 97. He served as University president from 1952-87.
– Notre Dame athletic teams will wear “Fr. Ted” patches or stickers on some combination of their uniforms, warm-ups or helmets. Moments of silence will be observed prior to home events in each of Notre Dame’s 26 varsity sports.
– In the near future, there will be commemorative signage created for each Notre Dame home athletic venue–to be featured either on the field or court itself or displayed elsewhere at the facility.
FIGHTING IRISH IN ITALY
– In early August, the Fighting Irish squad traveled to Italy for a 10-day, four-game foreign tour. Notre Dame posted a 4-0 record. The Irish visited Rome, Perugia, Pesaro, Venice and Como during the trip.
– It was the program’s first foreign tour since 2008 when the Irish ventured to Ireland for 13 days.
CONNAUGHTON DRAFTED BY ORIOLES
– The Baltimore Orioles selected Irish swingman Pat Connaughton in the fourth round of June’s Major League Baseball Draft. He was the 121st pick overall. Connaughton spent part of June and July pitching for the Aberdeen IronBirds, the Class A Orioles’ affiliate. Connaughton finished his Fighting Irish baseball career last spring. He posted a 3.03 ERA and had an 11-11 record on the mound during his three seasons. He fanned 105 batters in 154.2 innings pitched.
IRISH FIRST AGAIN IN GRADUATION RATE SUCCESS
– The University of Notre Dame once again claims the 2014 national championship for graduating student-athletes in all sports–in the process posting the top NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) figure (99) for its student-athletes for the eighth straight year. The GSR number for all Notre Dame student-athletes rates the Irish first among the football-playing institutions in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A). The 2014 NCAA figures are based on entering classes from 2004 through 2007. Twenty-one of Notre Dame’s men’s and women’s athletic programs posted GSR numbers that rank them best in the nation within their sports (including 20 perfect 100 scores)– and 11 produced federal graduation rates that led all NCAA FBS institutions (including eight perfect 100 scores). Men’s basketball at 100 tied for first with 14 other schools. Five Irish women’s programs had perfect 100 federal rates ranking them first within their sports among the NCAA FBS subset. Six Irish men’s programs had federal rates ranking them first within their sports (three with perfect 100 scores) among the NCAA FBS subset. Men’s basketball at 85 ranked tied for first with Penn State. Five Irish women’s programs had perfect 100 federal rates ranking them first within their sports among the NCAA FBS subset. Six Irish men’s programs had federal rates ranking them first within their sports (three with perfect 100 scores) among the NCAA FBS subset. Men’s basketball at 85 ranked tied for first with Penn State.