March 22, 2016
With two come-from-behind victories in the first and second rounds last weekend in Brooklyn, N.Y., the University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team (23-11) earned its second consecutive trip to the NCAA Sweet 16, set for the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa., this weekend. The sixth-seeded Irish will face #7 Wisconsin, who defeated #10 Pittsburgh and second-seeded Xavier on its way to Philly.
DATE/TIME: Friday, March 25, 7:27 p.m.
VENUE: Wells Fargo Center (Capacity: 16,110)
CITY: Philadelphia, Pa.
TELEVISION: TBS. Brian Anderson (play-by-play), Steve Smith (analyst), Dana Jacobsen (sidelines)
NOTRE DAME RADIO NETWORK : Check Affiliates (page 8). Jack Nolan (play-by-play). Torrian Jones (analyst)
WESTWOOD ONE NATIONAL RADIO: Tom McCarthy (play-by-play) John Thompson (analyst). Available on Sirius Channel 83 and XM Channel 202 and free online stream at www.ncaa.com/marchmadnesslive
NOTRE DAME IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT – BY THE NUMBERS:
.500 – Three-point shooting percentage for junior forward V.J. Beachem over his last seven games (18-36) and two NCAA tournament games last weekend (6-12).
.705 – Field goal shooting percentage for senior forward Zach Auguste in seven career NCAA tournament games (43-61). The minimum to qualify for the NCAA record book is 70 attempts. The NCAA tournament career record is Bill Walton’s .686.
1.5 – Seconds remaining when freshman Rex Pflueger tipped in the game winning basket vs. Stephen F. Austin to push Notre Dame to a second consecutive Sweet 16.
5 – NCAA tournament victories in the past two years for the Irish, matching the 78-79 teams. Notre Dame has never won six NCAA tournament games over a two-year span.
8 – NCAA tournament appearances for Notre Dame in the last 10 years.
9 – Players in Notre Dame basketball history to score 1,200-plus points and grab 800-plus rebounds – including Zach Auguste.
10.9 – Rebounds-per-game average for Zach Auguste this season – ranked first in the ACC and 13th in the nation.
12 – Halftime deficit overcome by Notre Dame in its first round NCAA victory over Michigan. It marked just the third time in NCAA play the Irish have rallied when trailing at halftime and the largest deficit ever overcome in the NCAA tourney.
13 – NCAA tournament appearances by Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey in 21 years at Division I, 11 of those coming at Notre Dame.
16.5 – Points-per-game scoring average for junior forward V.J. Beachem in Notre Dame’s two NCAA victories last weekend. Beachem scored four points total in Notre Dame’s four NCAA games last season.
21 – Double-Doubles compiled by Zach Auguste this season – the most since Luke Harangody had 25 in 2008-09.
33 – Field goal percentage in the second half by Notre Dame’s first two NCAA tournament opponents last weekend. The Irish held Michigan to .281 shooting (9-32) and Stephen F. Austin to .387 shooting (12-31) in the second 20 minutes of the two victories in Brooklyn.
35 – NCAA tournament appearances by Notre Dame, tied for eight-most in championship history.
55 – Program-record wins over the past two years for the Irish. Notre Dame was 32-6 in 2014-15 and are 23-11 this season.
119.1 – Notre Dame’s adjust offensive efficiency rating as computed by KenPom.com – seventh-best in the nation.
1,818 – Wins in Notre Dame basketball history, ranked eighth all-time. Since Mike Brey took over the Irish program in 2000-01, the Irish have moved from 12th to eighth on the all-time wins list.
NOTRE DAME VS. WISCONSIN SERIES HISTORY:
First Meeting: Feb. 8, 1927, a 19-14 Irish victory in Madison, Wis.
Most Recent Meeting: Nov. 28, 2010, a 58-51 Irish victory in the Old Spice Classic at Orlando, Fla.
Mike Brey vs. Wisconsin at Notre Dame: 1-0
The Irish and Badgers have met 28 times, but only once since 1968. The two teams have never met in NCAA tournament play.
800 REBOUNDS, .560 SHOOTING:
Zach Auguste is averaging a double-double in 2015-16 (14.3 ppg, 10.9 rpg) and has moved up the all-time Notre Dame rebound list along the way. Auguste passed the 800-rebound barrier against Stephen F. Austin on March 18th, becoming the 13th Irish player to reach that plateau.
Auguste is also shooting .568 in his career. Should he finish above .560 shooting for his time at Notre Dame, he would become just the third Irish player to shoot over .560 and grab 800-plus rebounds:
BETTER BIG MAN? After his 19-point, 22-rebound performance vs. Duke in the ACC quarterfinals on March 10, Irish head coach Mike Brey mentioned that there might not be a ‘big man’ playing better anywhere in the nation than Zach Auguste – and the numbers back up that claim.
In the past 14 games, Auguste is averaging 15.3 ppg and 12.1 rpg – failing to scoring in double figures just once. Over that same stretch of games, Auguste has posted 10 double-doubles. For more details, see Auguste’s bio on page 27 of this notes package.
BEACHEM STEPPING UP THIS MARCH:
It was a forgettable post season for junior V.J. Beachem last year. While the Irish team pushed toward the ACC Championship and eventual Elite Eight run in the NCAA Championship, Beachem’s minutes and production dropped. Then a sophomore, Beachem scored just 14 points combined in the ACC and NCAA Championships.
Beachem’s performance over Notre Dame’s first four post season games this year have made 2014-15 a distant memory.
In the ACC Quarterfinals vs. Duke on March 10, Beachem tied for the team lead with 19 points, going 7-12 from the field with four three point field goals and matching his career high in minutes played (38).
His three pointer at 2:35 left in regulation gave the Irish their first lead of the game since the early minutes, he then followed up with a three pointer during Notre Dame’s second possession of overtime to put the Irish head to stay.
In the ACC semifinal loss to North Carolina, Beachem continued his hot shooting with 11 points, going 3-6 from behind the arc.
He carried over his dead eye shooting to Brooklyn, N.Y. for the NCAA tournament. Beachem shot seven for seven from the field, four for four from three point range to lead the team with 18 points in the first round win over Michigan. His penchant for dramatic three pointers continued as well. His three pointer at 6:12 tied the game at 56-56, he struck again from behind the arch at 3:43 to break a 59-59 tie – then put the Irish ahead by five with a pull up jumper on the next possession.
Beachem finished with 15 points in Notre Dame’s win over Stephen F. Austin in the second round, grabbing seven rebounds.
After 14 points in the post season last year, Beachem has already scored 63 points in four post season games this season.
NOTRE DAME REACHES 1800-WIN MILESTONE:
Notre Dame’s 84-79 victory at Illinois on Dec. 2 marked the 1800th win in program history. The Fighting Irish are 1818-982 (.649) all-time in 111-plus seasons.
Notre Dame ranks eighth in Division I in all-time program wins behind Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, Duke, Temple, Syracuse and UCLA. The Irish have improved four spots in the all-time wins list since Mike Brey took over the program for the 2000-01 season, surpassing Indiana, Oregon State, Pennsylvania and St. John’s.
Notre Dame is the only NCAA program to rank in the top 10 for men’s basketball victories (1813) and football victories (892, 2nd).
Notre Dame is only school in Division I go have its football team go to a ‘New Years Six’ bowl game, then have its men’s and women’s basketball teams earn a spot in the Sweet 16 this year. There is yet another team in a ‘sweet 16’ – the Irish hockey team earned a spot in the 16-team regional playoffs for a spot in the Frozen Four.
The Atlantic Coast Conference announced its All-ACC Academic Men’s Basketball team on March 1. Two members of Notre Dame’s freshman class – Rex Pflueger and Matt Ryan – were named to the 26-member team. To be eligible for consideration, a student-athlete must have earned a 3.00 grade point average for the previous semester and maintained a 3.00 cumulative average during his academic career.
On Jan. 4, Irish head coach Mike Brey named Steve Vasturia a captain for the remainder of the 2015-16 season, joining Demetrius Jackson, Zach Auguste and A.J. Burgett as Irish players with a ‘C’ on their uniforms.
ACC PLACES SIX TEAMS IN SWEET 16:
The Atlantic Coach Conference made history last weekend when six of its members moved onto the NCAA Championship Sweet 16 – a first for the sports’s post season tourney. Notre Dame is a combined 3-5 versus fellow conference members Miami, Duke, North Carolina, Syracuse and Virginia who all won two tourney games last weekend.
PHILADELPHIA NATIVES HEADING HOME:
The Philadelphia area has been one of the pipeline areas for Notre Dame basketball, including current junior guard Steve Vasturia (Medford, N.J.) and Irish assistant coach Martin Ingelsby (Media, Pa.). Some other Philly-area former Irish players include Matt Carroll (1999-03, Horsham, Pa.) and Rob Kurz (2004-08, Lower Gwynedd, Pa.).
HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF:
Rex Pflueger’s tip in with 1.5 seconds left against Stephen F. Austin pushed Notre Dame to its second consecutive NCAA Sweet 16 with a 76-75 victory.
The dramatic victory came almost 40 years to the day of Notre Dame’s 79-78 victory in the NCAA tournament over Cincinnati. March 13, 1976 in Lawrence, Kan., Toby Knight tipped in a missed shot at the buzzer to psh the Irish to the Sweet 16.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE MACHINE: Senior forward Zach Auguste has posted 21 double-double this season (10+ points, 10+ rebounds), including 10 in the last 12 games. Those 21 games are sixth all-time in a single season at Notre Dame.
1. Luke Harangody 25 2008-09
2. Robert Whitmore 24 1967-68
3. LaPhonso Ellis 23 1991-92
Collis Jones 23 1970-71
5. Ryan Humphrey 22 2001-02
6. Zach Auguste 21 2015-16
7. Troy Murphy 20 1999-00
EVENING WITH NOTRE DAME BASKETBALL:
The traditional end-of-the-year celebration of Irish Hoops – ‘An Evening With Notre Dame Basketball’ is set for Monday, April 11, starting at 5:00 p.m. Tickets for the event can be purchased online at www.und.com/tickets, or by calling the Notre Dame Ticket Office at 574-631-7356.
The evening will feature a tour of Notre Dame’s basketball facilities, a chance to meet each Irish player and coach for pictures and autographs, a buffet-style dinner and a video-centric awards ceremony when Notre Dame will announce its team awards,. A new feature this year will be a photo booth where Irish fans can take pictures with Notre Dame props and receive a keepsake photo strip.