March 10, 2000
NEW YORK – The postseason hopes of the Irish are out their hands.
Notre Dame’s Big East tournament came to an end at the hands of Miami. With a few seconds remaining, Irish forward Troy Murphy launched a three-point attempt, which rimmed out. As the final buzzer sounded, the Hurricanes walked away victorious, 61-58.
“I hit that shot, and that could be another win, and that could separate us from another team in the tournament,” Murphy said. “It’s tough to think that that shot could either put you in the NCAA or the NIT.”
The squad’s record stands at 18-14 which leaves the team teetering on the bubble for an NCAA bid. The selection committee has never chosen a team with 14 losses. Although, only one other team in the country has more wins over ranked opponents than Notre Dame and that is Arizona.
“If Miami’s the 23rd ranked team in the country, maybe we’re 23 and a half and we hope that we get invited to the NCAA tournament,” Doherty said. “If we don’t, we’ll gladly accept a bid to New York and the NIT and try to make a run at coming back here.”
Notre Dame has yet to win a game against Miami in the three times that it has played the Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes stifled the offensive play of Murphy. Every time the sophomore got his hands on the ball, the Hurricane defense collapsed down on him. Often times, Murphy looked to pass out of the low post rather than posting up.
Miami held him to just 15 points. However, the forward did manage to notch his 20th double-double of the season, by grabbing 16 rebounds.
Sophomore David Graves capitalized on the Murphy triple teams, scoring 14 points. Freshman Matt Carroll scored 11.
The Hurricanes stood their ground behind the leadership of Johnny Hemsley and Vernon Jennings.
Hemsley scored 14 points and spent a portion of the game, shutting down Murphy. Jennings only scored eight points but dished out 11 of his team’s 16 assists.
“I think it was a hard fought game,” Graves said. “The two teams played well. Some things went our way and others didn’t. But they’re a great defensive team. By far the best in the conference.”
Notre Dame’s postseason hopes will hang in the balance until Sunday night when the tournament selections are announced.
“I hope that the Selection Committee chooses them as one of the 64,” Miami’s Hemsley said. “If not and if Troy sticks around, they will definitely had a good nucleus for next year. I think that they could go all the way.”