Jan. 10, 2017
The No. 20/20 University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team (14-2, 3-0 ACC) begins a three-game ACC road swing on Thursday evening when the Irish face Miami (11-3, 1-1) on ESPN (7:00 p.m. ET) at the Watsco Center. Notre Dame will face a three-game road trip with Miami, followed by Virginia Tech on Saturday and at No. 9/10 Florida State next Wednesday.
The Irish will remain on the road for the trip to Virginia Tech, but return to campus for the start of the spring semester on Tuesday, Jan. 17, before traveling to Florida State.
WHO: Notre Dame (14-2, 3-0 ACC) vs. Miami (11-3, 1-1 ACC)
WHERE: Watsco Center, Coral Gables, Florida
WHEN: Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017 | 7:00 p.m. ET
NATIONAL BROADCAST: ESPN with Karl Ravech (play-by-play) and Dick Vitale (analyst).
RADIO BROADCAST: Notre Dame Basketball Network with Jack Nolan (play-by-play) and Zach Hillesland (analyst). Notre Dame Basketball Network Radio Affiliates
The home game radio broadcast also is available on SiriusXM Channel 81.
Here are Five Things To Know about the Irish – Hurricanes match up:
NOTRE DAME vs. MIAMI SERIES HISTORY:
Notre Dame and Miami will be meeting for the 21st time on Thursday evening, with the series tied at 10-10. The Irish are 4-5 at Miami and 2-3 against the Hurricanes as members of the ACC.
Miami has won the last two meetings against the Irish, including a 79-70 victory at the Watsco Center last season on Feb. 3, 2016.
Notre Dame has shown a knack for finishing games in its first three ACC victories of the season.
Against Pittsburgh, trailing by five with 2:42 remaining, Notre Dame finished regulation on a 6-1 run to force overtime, then finished overtime on an 8-2 run over the final 2:25 to earn a 78-77 victory.
In the victory over No. 9/9 Louisville, the score was tied 68-68 with 2:00 remaining before the Irish closed the game on a 9-2 run to secure the win.
Finally, in the win over Clemson, the Tigers claimed a 68-67 lead with 2:17 left before an 8-2 Irish run over the game’s final minutes earned Notre Dame a victory.
Total it all up and the Irish have outscored their first three ACC opponents 25-6 in the final 6:42 (combined) of its first three conference wins.
3-0 CONFERENCE START:
Notre Dame’s 3-0 start to the 2016-17 ACC season is the second in the history of the program. Notre Dame began the 2014-15 season with three ACC victories (vs. Florida State, vs. Georgia Tech, at North Carolina) before a loss at home to Virginia.
The Irish never started 3-0 in the Big East Conference and have never began a conference schedule with a 4-0 record.
Should Notre Dame earn a victory at Miami on Thursday, the 2016-17 season would mark the best start of the Brey era (9-0 overall) and best conference schedule start in the history of the program.
FARRELL – MOST IMPROVED IN THE ACC:
Junior guard Matt Farrell has made a case as the most improved player in the nation this season. After starting Notre Dame’s final four games of the 2015-16 season (his first four career starts as the Irish advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight) Farrell has stepped up his game even further in 2016-17.
Averaging 14.0 points per game (along with 5.4 assists per game and .418 3FG%) Farrell is the most improved player, in terms of points-per-game average in the ACC with an 11.4 improvement, ahead of Ben Lammers’ +11.3 for Georgia Tech.
VASTURIA = CLUTCH:
Notre Dame’s first three ACC victories would not be possible without three clutch plays at the end of each game from Steve Vasturia.
In the ACC opener at Pittsburgh, Vasturia’s two FTs pushed the game to overtime and his three pointer with 2.5 seconds remaining proved to be the game winner in the 78-77 OT victory.
Vasturia would end the Pittsburgh game scoring 10 of Notre Dame’s final 12 points while assisting on the other field goal.
Against No. 9/9 Louisville, Vasturia poured in a career-best 24 points, none more important than his runner in the lane with :19 seconds remaining to put the Irish ahead to stay 73-68 in the eventual 77-70 victory.
In the win over Clemson, Vasturia nailed a corner three-point field goal at the shot clock buzzer of an inbounds play with 1:45 remaining, pushing the Irish ahead 70-68 in an eventual 75-70 victory.
2017 INFINITI COACHES CHARITY CHALLENGE:
Irish head coach Mike Brey is taking part in the 2017 Coaches Charity Challenge. Voting begins on Monday, Jan. 2 and continues through the completion of the first round on Jan. 22, 2017. After four rounds of voting, the winning coach will receive a 100,000 dollar donation to a charity of his choice, with Coach Brey hoping to send money to Coaches vs. Cancer.
To vote visit www.und.com/brey (fans will need to set up a ESPN.com account to vote) and fans are allowed to vote once per day.
For much more on the Notre Dame – Miami game, download the notes package at the top of this page.