March 15, 2002
SCOUTING THE IRISH: For the second consecutive year, Notre Dame (22-10) advances to the second round of the NCAA tournament. The Irish earned second-round appearance following Thursday night’s 82-63 victory over No. 9 seed Charlotte. The victory marks the first time since the 1978 and 1979 NCAA tournaments that the Irish picked up wins in consecutive years. Notre Dame went to the Final Four in 1978, then advanced to the Regional Final in 1979. Last year, Coach Mike Brey’s squad defeated Xavier 83-71 in the first round before losing 59-56 too Mississippi in the second round.
The 19-point margin of victory was the largest for an Irish team in an NCAA tournament game since the ’78 tournament when Notre Dame defeated DePaul 84-64 in the Midwest Regional final in Lawrence, Kansas.
Notre Dame is now 27-29 (.482) all-time in NCAA tournament contests and 18-9 (.667) in first/second round games. The last time an Irish team advanced past the second round was in 1987. During the ’87 NCAA championship, Notre Dame defeated Middle Tennessee State (84-71) and TCU (58-57) in the East Region first and second rounds in Charlotte, N.C., before losing to North Carolina (74-68) in the regional semifinal in East Rutherford, N.J.
Today’s matchup with Duke marks the 21st meeting between the two schools and the first since Nov. 26, 1998 when Duke beat Notre Dame 111-82 in the first round of the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage, Alaska. Current Irish seniors David Graves and Harold Swanagan played in that game. The contest also pits Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey going up against his former mentor Mike Krzyzewski. Brey spent eight seasons alongside Krzyzewski as an assistant on the Duke bench from 1987-95. During his tenure as an assistant in Durham, North Carolina, Brey was part of six team which advanced to the Final Four and two teams (1991 and ’92) which won national championships.
The Irish head into this afternoon’s matchup having won 10 of their last 14 . Notre Dame continued its stellar performance on the road with Thursday night’s win over Charlotte as the Irish are now 13-5 overall (8-4 in contests on the opponent’s home floor and 5-1 in netural in games played away from the friendly confines of the Joyce Center). The 13 wins away from home are the most since the 1957-58 campaign when that Irish team finished with a 14-5 road mark before finishing with a final 24-5 ledger.
Notre Dame’s 10 losses this season have been by a combined 42 points for an average margin of defeat of 4.20 points per game. The 83-73 setback against Georgetown was its largest loss of the season.
SERIES RECORD VS. DUKE: This afternoon’s contest will be the 21st matchup between the two schools with the Blue Devils holding an 18-2 advantage in the series. Duke has won 10 straight over the Irish. Notre Dame’s last victory in the series was on Feb. 15, 1987 when the Irish claimed a 70-66 overtime decision at the Joyce Center, it’s other victory also came at home (87-68) on Feb. 4, 1974. This will be the second meeting in NCAA tournament competition – the only other matchup occurred in the national semifinals of the 1978 Final Four in St. Louis, Mo., with Duke earning a 90-86 victory.
BREY VERSUS DUKE: Since becoming a head coach in 1995, Mike Brey has only coached against Duke on one other occasion. That matchup occurred during his first season at Delaware in Durham as the Blue Devils, ranked 21st nationally at the time, defeated the Blue Hens 79-73 on Dec. 19, 1995.
NOTRE DAME VERSUS THE ACC: Duke is the first Atlantic Coast Conference opponent the Irish have faced this season. Notre Dame is 22-54 all-time against ACC teams. The Irish last played an ACC team during the 1999-2000 campaign when Notre Dame lost to Wake Forest 71-61 in the finals of the National Invitation Tournament.
NOTRE DAME VERSUS NO. 1: Notre Dame’s penchant for upsetting teams ranked No. 1 has been well-documented. Irish teams, along with UCLA, have the most wins over number-one ranked teams (nine). Only one of those nine victories over the nation’s top-ranked team has come in the NCAA tournament – March 12, 1954 versus Indiana (65-64) in Fort Wayne, Ind. Notre Dame has not beaten the nation’s No. 1 ranked team since the 1986-87 squad defeated North Carolina 60-58 on Feb. 1, 1987 at the Joyce Center. The last time Notre Dame went up against the top-ranked team in the country was on Jan. 12, 1999 when the Irish faced Connecticut in Hartford, Conn., and lost a 101-70 decision.
BREY VERSUS RANKED OPPONENTS: As a head coach at both Notre Dame and Delaware, Mike Brey has coached in 21 contents versus ranked opponents. The Irish are 3-5 versus ranked foes this season with wins coming against Pittsburgh twice and Miami. Notre Dame faced eight ranked opponents in 2000-01 and were 4-4 against those foes. Brey’s first-ever win as a head coach against a ranked team occurred on November 25, 2000 when Notre Dame beat then 13th-ranked Cincinnati 69-51 in Indianapolis, Ind.
COMMON OPPONENTS: Both Notre Dame and Duke have faced three common opponents – Seton Hall, Kentucky and St. John’s. The Blue Devils were 3-0 versus all three teams, while the Irish were 2-0 against the Pirates, 0-1 versus the Wildcats and 1-1 against the Red Storm.
A PERFECT “10”: Ryan Humphrey connected on all 10 of his free throw attempts against Charlotte on Thursday night. Heading into the contest, Humphrey had made just 57.8 percent of his attempts from the charity stripe. His highest perfect game in 128 previous contests prior to that was just four-for-four performance at Rutgers. Over the last five games, he is 30-39 (.769) from the charity stripe. Humphrey tied the Notre Dame record for free throw shooting percentage in a game (minimum of 10 attempts). He is just the 10th player in Notre Dame history to have at least 10 free throws made in a perfect shooting performance from the line. Rookie Chris Thomas has done it twice this season – he was 12-12 from the field against UT Chattanooga and 10-10 in Notre Dam’s win at Miami.
THE HUMPHREY HYPE: Ryan Humphrey’s streak of 10 consecutive games with a double double is the longest since LaPhonso Ellis’ senior season, the 1991-92 campaign, when he put together a string of nine straight outings with a double double. Humphrey’s 21 double doubles are the the second most by an Irish player in a single season since that same year when he (Ellis) registered double figures in both scoring and rebounding in 23 games. Troy Murphy had 20 doubles double doubles during the 1999-2000 campaign, his sophomore season. He had a string of five straight double double efforts on two occasions during that season. Humphrey’s string of 10 straight double doubles is the longest current streak in the country according to STATS, Inc. Including his two seasons at Oklahoma, he has 41 double doubles during his career.
HUMPHREY HEROICS: Ryan Humphrey enters Saturday’s contest with Duke having scored 20-plus points in five straight games following Thursday night’s 20-point and 11-rebound performance versus Charlotte. He has scored 20 or more points in 13 games this season and is averaging 22.4 and 12.8 rebounds in Notre Dame’s last five contests.
MATT “CARROL”-LING: Matt Carroll scored 11 of Notre Dame’s first 16 points against Charlotte and finished with 20 points (8-12 from the field and 4-5 from three-point range. It marked the third consecutive 20-point effort for the junior, a first in his career. Carroll has had four three-pointers in each of the last five games. In his last five outings, he is 20-30 (.667) from three-point range and has scored 95 points for a 19.0 points per game average. He has made at least one three-pointer in 23 consecutive games.
THOMAS CLOSING IN ON ANOTHER SINGLE-SEASON RECORD: Chris Thomas already owns Notre Dame single-season marks for assists (245) and steals (70) and is closing in on the Irish freshman scoring mark. Entering Saturday’s games, he has 512 points for the season and is eight away from breaking Troy Murphy’s mark of 519 established during the 1998-99 campaign. Thomas’ 512 points ranks second all-time ahead of Adrian Dantley’s 511 in 1973-74.
TAKING CARE OF THE BALL: As a team, Notre Dame owns a 1.47 assist-to-turnover ratio . Against Charlotte, the Irish dished off 21 assists and committed just nine turnovers, which marked the third time this season Notre Dame has had at least 20 assists and less than 10 turnovers. The Irish have had fewer than 10 turnovers in seven games.
112 AND COUNTING: Heading into today’s game, Notre Dame has hit at least one three-pointer in 112 straight games, which dates back to the 1998-99 campaign. The last time the Irish did not make a three-pointer was in a 101-70 loss to Connecticut in the Hartford Civic Center (Jan. 12, 1999) as Notre Dame finished 0-7 in the contest from three-point range.
ON THE OFFENSIVE: Chris Thomas has certainly had an impact on the Irish offense this season. The rookie point guard has figured in on 44.6 percent of Notre Dame’s offensive firepower this season – of the 904 field goals scored, he has 158 field and dished off 245 assists.
IRONMEN: David Graves and Harold Swanagan rank one-two, respectively, all-time in career games played at Notre Dame. Graves has played in all 129 games during his career, while Swangan has missed just three contests and has seen action in 126 games. Graves has earned 106 starting starting appearances during his four seasons, while Swanagan has made 77 starts.
THREES ARE THE KEY: Notre Dame’s 240 three-point field goals are the second most by an Irish team in a single season. The record for three-point field goals in a season is 278 established by the 1999-2000 team in 37 games. Notre Dame’s 604 attempts this year also rank as the second most in school history.