Tyrone Nash and the Fighting Irish will take to the Madison Square Garden floor on Thursday evening for the BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals.

No. 2 Seed Irish Head To New York For BIG EAST Championship

March 7, 2011

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2011 BIG EAST Championship
March 8-12
Madison Square Garden – New York, N.Y.

Sean McDonough (play-by-play)
Jay Bilas (analyst); Bill Raftery (analyst); Beth Mowins (sideline)

Radio: Affiliate listings on page 11; Broadcast also on UND.com
Jack Nolan (play-by-play)
Jordan Cornette (analyst)

– Notre Dame (25-5, 14-4) will head to New York City as the No. 2 seed for the 2011 BIG EAST Championship presented by American Eagle Outfitters. The Fighting Irish have earned a double-bye and will begin tournament play at 7:00 p.m. (ET) on Thursday in the quarterfinal round inside Madison Square Garden.
– The Fighting Irish will carry a four-game win streak into the BIG EAST Tournament. Notre Dame has gone 11-1 in its last 12 contests.
– Notre Dame is coming off a 70-67 win at Connecticut on Saturday.
– The Irish are 7-15 all-time in BIG EAST Tournament play and are 6-10 under head coach Mike Brey. Irish teams have advanced to the semifinals on three occasions – 2002, 2007 and 2010 (all under Brey).
– Last season, the Fighting Irish received a bye in the tournament and topped Seton Hall, 68-56, in the second round. Notre Dame captured a 50-45 quarterfinal victory over Pittsburgh before falling to West Virginia, 53-51, in the semifinals.
– This season marks the second time that the Irish have earned a No. 2 seed for the BIG EAST Championship. Notre Dame was the second seed out of the West Division in 2002. That year, the Irish defeated St. John’s in the quarterfinals, 83-63, before falling to Connecticut, 82-77, in the semifinals.
– Notre Dame’s highest seed in the BIG EAST Championship was a No. 1 seed out of the West Division in 2001. The Irish went 0-1 in that season’s tournament.
– Notre Dame owns a 54-43 (.557) record all-time when playing at Madison Square Garden. The Irish fell to St. John’s, 72-54, earlier this season at Madison Square Garden.

– Notre Dame’s 25 victories are the most regular-season wins for the Irish during the modern era. Notre Dame won a program-record 33 regular-season games (33-7) back in 1908-09.
– This season’s 25 wins are tied for the most during the Mike Brey era at Notre Dame (11 seasons). The Irish also had 25 victories (24 regular season, 1 in NCAA Tournament) in the 2007-08 campaign. This year’s 14 regular-season BIG EAST victories also tie the program standard. The Fighting Irish went 14-4 in BIG EAST play in 2007-08.

– Notre Dame has posted a 94-40 (.701) record over the past four seasons. The 94 wins are the most victories in program history over a four-year span. The previous standard was 93 from when the Irish went 93-43 from 2006-10. The past four seasons also has produced the most regular-season BIG EAST victories (46) in school history. The Irish have gone 46-26 in BIG EAST play over the past four seasons.

– Notre Dame trailed Connecticut by five (65-60) with 4:24 left in Saturday’s contest, yet the Irish finished the game on a 10-2 run to notch the 70-67 win.
– The victory was Notre Dame’s second-ever win at Connecticut and the first at Gampel Pavilion. The Irish now are 2-10 all-time at Connecticut, including a 1-3 mark inside Gampel Pavilion. Notre Dame’s other win at UConn was a 75-70 decision on Jan. 5, 2000 inside the Hartford Civic Center.
– The Huskies lead the all-time series against Notre Dame, 16-9, but the Irish have won the last three meetings. That is Notre Dame’s longest win streak in the series.

– Notre Dame is 6-0 this season in games decided by five points or less. Five of those contests have occurred during BIG EAST play.

– Notre Dame is 5-4 on the road this season. The five road wins, which all occurred in BIG EAST play, are the most for the Irish since the 2007-08 campaign when that squad went 5-4 away from home. The Fighting Irish are 3-1 at neutral sites this season.

– The Fighting Irish shot 51.0% (26-51) from the field at Connecticut on Saturday. That marked the 11th time this season – and the third time in the last four games – the Irish have shot 50% or above from the floor. Notre Dame has shot 50% or better from the field seven times in BIG EAST play this season.
– Against Villanova (Feb. 28), the Irish were 29-52 (.558) from the floor. Notre Dame shot a blistering 62.5% from three-point range (20-32) versus the Wildcats. That was the highest three-point shooting percentage in a BIG EAST game in school history. The previous mark was 61.9% (13-21) versus Providence during the 2005-06 campaign.
– Notre Dame has scored 90-plus points in two of its last four games and six times overall this season (twice in BIG EAST play). Notre Dame’s 94 points in a 94-93 win at Providence (Feb. 23) was the highest point-total in a BIG EAST contest for the Irish since a 103-84 win at Providence during the 2008-09 campaign.
– Notre Dame shot 56.1% (32-57) from the floor against Providence. That is Notre Dame’s highest shooting percentage in a BIG EAST game this season.

– The 93-72 win over Villanova on Feb. 28 provided several noteworthy accomplishments for the Fighting Irish …
– Notre Dame made a school-record 20 three-pointers (20-32). The previous high was 19 against South Dakota on Dec. 2, 2008. The 20 treys also matched a BIG EAST record. West Virginia made 20 against Marquette on Jan. 14, 2006.
Tim Abromaitis tied the Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center record with nine made three-pointers (9-13). Kyle McAlarney netted nine three-pointers on Feb. 24, 2008 against Syracuse and then again on Nov. 30, 2008 against Furman. Ryan Ayers also hit nine three-pointers on Dec. 2, 2008 versus South Dakota.
Tim Abromaitis and Ben Hansbrough both netted 30 points against Villanova. They became the first Irish players to score 30 or more points in the same contest since Chris Quinn (34) and Colin Falls (32) did so against Seton Hall on Feb. 18, 2006.
– Hansbrough and Tyrone Nash both registered double-doubles in their final games inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. Hansbrough dished out a career-high tying 10 assists to go along with 30 points to produce his third career double-double (first of the season). Nash recorded his fourth double-double of the season – and fifth of his career – with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
– Hansbrough became the first Irish player to score 30-plus points and dish off 10-plus assists in a game since Chris Thomas in 2001-02 (his freshman season) when he did it against Rutgers (32 pts., 11 asts.) and Miami (32 pts., 12 asts.).

– Notre Dame is the only BIG EAST team that has not lost at home in 2010-11.
– The Fighting Irish concluded their 2010-11 home slate with a perfect 17-0 mark. It’s the third undefeated season at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center in the last five years and the fifth overall for Notre Dame since the building opened at the start of the 1968-69 campaign. The other perfect home seasons occurred in: 1973-74 (15-0), 1985-86 (15-0), 2006-07 (18-0) and 2007-08 (17-0).
– The Irish have won 19 straight games overall at home.
– Over the last five seasons, Notre Dame is 84-6 (.933) overall at Purcell Pavilion and 40-5 (.889) in BIG EAST play.

Ben Hansbrough and Tim Abromaitis both scored 30 points in the 93-72 triumph of Villanova (Feb. 28). They accounted for 16 of Notre Dame’s school-record 20 made three-pointers (Abromaitis 9, Hansbrough 7) in the contest.
– In the 60-48 win over Seton Hall on Feb. 26, Abromaitis netted 22 points, while Hansbrough had 21. Hansbrough (32) and Abromaitis (28) combined for 60 of Notre Dame’s 94 points in the win at Providence on Feb. 23.
– Abromaitis and Hansbrough have both scored 20-plus points in the same game five times this season (four times in BIG EAST play).
– Hansbrough has reached double-figures in points a team-high 28 times this season (out of 30 games), while Abromaitis has netted double-digits 25 times.
– Hansbrough has led the Irish in scoring a team-best 18 times this season, while Abromaitis has done so on nine occasions.
– Hansbrough has scored 20-plus points a team-best 14 times this season, while Abromaitis has done so on 11 occasions.

Ben Hansbrough is among a list of 30 players on the Naismith Trophy midseason list. Four other BIG EAST players also are on the list – Austin Freeman (Georgetown), Rick Jackson (Syracuse), Kemba Walker (Connecticut) and Brad Wanamaker (Pittsburgh).

– Over the past 11 games, Ben Hansbrough is averaging 23.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists. He is shooting 56.7% (85-150) from the floor during those 11 contests. The Irish are 10-1 in that stretch.
– He has scored 30 or more points in two of the past four games. Hansbrough netted a career-high 32 points on Feb. 23 at Providence. He deposited 30 against Villanova (Feb. 28).
– Hansbrough has scored 20-plus points eight times in the past 11 games. He has scored 20-plus points in the past four games. That’s the most consecutive games with 20 or more points in his career.
– He currently has a career-high 13-game double-figure scoring streak. That’s the longest double-digit scoring streak for the Irish this season.
– Hansbrough made a career-high seven three-pointers (on 10 attempts) against Villanova (Feb. 28). He also matched a career-high total with 10 assists versus the Wildcats to notch his first double-double of the season (third of his career).

– For the season, Ben Hansbrough is averaging a career-best – and team-high – 18.5 points per game. Hansbrough has a team-best 126 assists (4.2 apg) and a team-high 39 steals (1.3 spg). He also is averaging a team-high 35.0 minutes played per game.
– He is averaging 20.7 ppg. in BIG EAST play.
– Hansbrough has led the Irish in scoring in 11 of the past 13 games and a team-best 18 times this season.
– He has made at least five three-pointers in a game seven times this season (four times in BIG EAST play).
– Hansbrough has notched at least five assists in a game 12 times this season (eight times in BIG EAST play).
– He is shooting 81.8% (130-159) from the free throw line overall this season and boasts an 84.9% (90-106) average in BIG EAST play, which ranks seventh.

Ben Hansbrough, who scored his 1,000th career point in the season opener against Georgia Southern, is approaching the 1,000-point mark at Notre Dame and would become the 52nd 1,000-point scorer in program history.
– In 65 career outings, he has scored 975 points for a 15.0 scoring average in an Irish uniform.

Tim Abromaitis netted his 1,000th career point on Feb. 26 versus Seton Hall. He is the 51st player in Notre Dame history to reach that milestone.
– Abromaitis has a 13.5 scoring average in 77 career outings. After scoring just 20 points during his freshman season in 2007-08 and sitting out the 2008-09 campaign, Abromaitis has scored 1,021 points over the course of the last 65 games for a 15.7 scoring average.

Tim Abromaitis has scored over 20 points in three of the past four games, including a season-high 30-point effort against Villanova (Feb. 28). That was his third-career 30-plus point game. He tied the Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center record with a career-high nine made three-pointers (on 13 attempts) versus Villanova.
– Abromaitis has scored in double figures in 25 of 30 games this season. He has reached double-figures in eight of the past nine games. Abromaitis has netted 20-plus points in a game 11 times this season (five times in BIG EAST play).
– He has scored in double-figures in 31 out of 36 BIG EAST regular-season games over the past two seasons.
– Abromaitis’ point (15.2) and rebound (6.2) averages rank second on the team.
– Abromaitis has two double-doubles this season (Chicago State & UMBC).

– Notre Dame has reached the 20-win mark for the fifth consecutive season and for the eighth time in the last 11 seasons under head coach Mike Brey. The last time Irish teams reached the 20-win plateau in five straight campaigns was from 1983-89 when those Notre Dame squads under Digger Phelps strung together six consecutive 20-win seasons.

– Notre Dame is 23-3 this season when Carleton Scott has played and the Irish are 11-1 since he’s returned from a hamstring injury.
– Scott had to leave the Syracuse contest (Jan. 1), a 70-58 loss, in the second half after suffering the injury. Notre Dame went 2-2 in the next four contests without his services. Scott returned to game action on Jan. 19 versus Cincinnati, a 66-58 Irish win. He returned to the starting lineup on Jan. 22 versus Marquette (an 80-75 win) and notched a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

– Despite missing four games earlier this season with a hamstring injury, senior forward Carleton Scott has been one of Notre Dame’s top performers this season. Scott has scored in double-figures 18 times this season (out of 26 games played).
– Scott has a team-high seven double-doubles this season and he has hauled down 10 or more rebounds in a game nine times this season.
– Scott is 23-25 (.920) from the free throw line in BIG EAST play. Overall this season, he is shooting 89.1% (49-55) from the charity stripe.
– Scott’s five made three-pointers at Pittsburgh (Jan. 24) were a career-high total. He is shooting 36.9% (41-111) from three-point range this season.
– He netted a career-high 23 points versus Gonzaga on Dec. 11.
– Scott’s perfect 8-8 performance from the field against Stony Brook (Dec. 19) ranks in a tie for third all-time in program history for most made field goals in a game without a miss. He was 4-4 from three-point range versus the Seawolves.

– Senior forward Carleton Scott has a team-best – and career-high – 46 blocked shots this season (1.8 per game).
– Scott has blocked at least two shots in eight of the last nine games and 17 times overall this season. He has swatted three or more shots in a game seven times this season. Scott tied a career-high total with a season-high four blocked shots against Indiana State (Nov. 30).

– Notre Dame boasts a 1.53 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Fighting Irish rank sixth nationally – and first in the BIG EAST – in that category. The Irish have registered 500 assists on their 746 made field goals this season (.670). The Fighting Irish average just 10.9 turnovers per game, which is the 16th-best mark in the country.
– Notre Dame has notched at least 20 assists in a game nine times this season (three times in BIG EAST play). The Irish had a season-high 29 assists (on 34 made field goals) versus Chicago State (Nov. 17). Notre Dame is 15th nationally in assists per game (16.7).
– Senior guard Ben Hansbrough leads the Irish with 126 assists (4.2 apg). Freshman point guard Eric Atkins is second with 102 (3.4 apg). Atkins has a team-best 2.83 assist-to-turnover ratio, which ranks 11th nationally and first in the BIG EAST.
– Notre Dame’s season-low turnover total is seven (Marquette and Louisville). The Irish have had fewer than 10 turnovers in a game 10 times this season (six times in BIG EAST play).

– Freshman point guard Eric Atkins boasts a team-best 2.83 assist-to-turnover ratio. He ranks 11th nationally and first in the BIG EAST in that category. He is second on the team with 102 assists (3.4 apg).
– Atkins has a 2.73 assist-to-turnover ratio in BIG EAST games, which also ranks first among all of the league’s players.
– Over the past 11 games, Atkins has compiled 33 assists and just nine turnovers in 225 minutes of play (a 3.7 assist-to-turnover ratio).
– The rookie has dished out five-plus assists in a game nine times this season, including a career-high seven against St. John’s (Jan. 16) and USF (Feb. 12).
– Atkins has led the Irish in assists nine times this season.

Scott Martin has scored in double-figures 12 times in BIG EAST play (out of 18 games). He has registered double-figures 16 times overall this season.
– Martin notched his first career double-double versus Marquette (Jan. 10) as he tallied 10 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. He has led the Irish in rebounding four times this season.
– Martin has netted a season-high 15 points three times (Maine, Indiana State, UMBC). Those were his highest point outputs since he netted a career-high 17 points against Missouri State during his freshman season at Purdue.
– Martin did not play in 2008-09 due to NCAA transfer rules and he missed all of last season with an ACL injury.

– Notre Dame is 15-1 this season when senior forward Tyrone Nash scores at least 10 points.
– Nash has led the Irish in assists eight times this season. He has registered five or more assists in a game six times this season (three times in BIG EAST play), including a career-high seven versus Chicago State (Nov. 17) and Providence (Feb. 23).
– Nash’s career-high 82 assists (2.7 apg) rank third among all Notre Dame players this season. He also is third in rebound average with a career-high 6.1 mark and boasts a team-high 76 offensive rebounds.
– Nash has produced four double-doubles this season.

– Sophomore forward Jack Cooley is an efficient 49-76 (.645) from the field this season. He is 25-40 (.625) from the floor in BIG EAST play.
– Cooley scored a career-high 18 points and hauled down a career-high tying eight rebounds on Feb. 12 at USF. Cooley made his first nine shots of the contest before missing his final attempt from the field.
– Overall, Cooley had made 15 straight field goal attempts before the miss against the Bulls. Cooley made his final field goal attempt versus Rutgers (Feb. 6) and made all five of his tries against Louisville (Feb. 9).
– Cooley gave the Irish a huge lift off the bench in the win over Louisville. He scored all 10 of his points in the first half. The Louisville and USF contests marked the first time Cooley ever has scored in double-figures in consecutive games. Cooley has four double-digit scoring efforts this season.

– The Fighting Irish are 242-618 (.392) from three-point range this season. Notre Dame has hit 10 or more three pointers in a game seven times this season (all wins), including a school-record 20 treys against Villanova (Feb. 28). Notre Dame went 10-24 from beyond the arc on Saturday at Connecticut. The Irish are averaging 8.1 made three-pointers per game.
– The Irish are 215-516 (.417) from three-point range in their 25 wins and they are 27-102 (.265) in the five losses.
Ben Hansbrough is shooting at a team-best 45.1% clip (78-173) from beyond the arc this season. Hansbrough is shooting 43.3% (145-335) from three-point range during his Notre Dame career. That mark currently ranks third in Irish history (see page 16).
Tim Abromaitis tied a Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center record with a career-high nine made three-pointers (on 13 attempts) against Villanova (Feb. 28). Hansbrough deposited a career-high seven treys (on 10 attempts) versus Villanova.

– Heading into the BIG EAST Tournament, Notre Dame has made at least one three-pointer in 404 straight contests dating back to the 1998-99 campaign. The Fighting Irish have made at least one three pointer during every game of the Mike Brey era. The last time an Irish team failed to hit a three-pointer in a game was in a 101-70 loss to Connecticut at the Hartford Civic Center on Jan. 12, 1999. Notre Dame finished 0-7 from beyond the arc in that contest. In 2008-09, the Irish set a single-season three-point record with 319.

– Notre Dame teams under Mike Brey have always ranked among the best teams in the nation and BIG EAST in assists and three-point shooting. In 11 seasons with Brey on the sidelines, Notre Dame is 73-9 when Irish teams have 20 or more assists and are 73-28 when making 10 or more three-pointers.

– Notre Dame averaged 82.1 points per game in its 17 home games this season, while the Irish are averaging 67.6 points in their nine true road games (all BIG EAST contests). Notre Dame averaged 75.8 points per game in its nine BIG EAST home games.
– The Irish eclipsed the 80-point mark at home 10 times this season (three times in BIG EAST play).

– The Irish have had at least four players reach double-figures in points in seven of the past eight games. Notre Dame has had at least four double-figure scorers in 13 games this season. The Fighting Irish are 13-0 in those contests.
– In the 78-55 win at USF (Feb. 12), the Irish had six players reach double-figures in points for the first time ever in a BIG EAST game. Jack Cooley (18), Carleton Scott (13), Tim Abromaitis (12), Ben Hansbrough (12), Scott Martin (10) and Tyrone Nash (10) all netted double-digits. It’s the second time this season Notre Dame has had six double-figure scorers. Those same six players all did so versus Maine (Nov. 22).
– Notre Dame has had at least five players reach double-digits in the same contest six times (see box on page 8).

– Six different Notre Dame players have led the team in scoring during a game this season. Ben Hansbrough has led the Irish in scoring a team-best 18 times, including one tie with Tim Abromaitis, who has led the Irish in points on eight occasions. Carleton Scott has done so three times, including one tie with Eric Atkins, who has posted a team-high point total twice this season. Jack Cooley and Tyrone Nash have led the Irish in scoring once each.

– Notre Dame opponents are averaging just 29.2 points in the first half of play this season, while the Irish are averaging 36.9 points during the first stanza.
– Notre Dame held USF to just 17 first-half points on Feb 12. That marked the fourth time this season Notre Dame has held an opponent to under 20 points in the first half. The other times were against California (5 points), Wisconsin (19) and Cincinnati (19).
– Notre Dame’s 47 first-half points against Villanova (Feb. 28) signified the 13th time this season (fifth in BIG EAST play) the Irish have netted at least 40 points in the first half of play.
– Notre Dame is 19-1 this season when leading at the intermission. The only loss came at West Virginia (Feb. 19) as the Irish held a 27-26 halftime lead over the Mountaineers, yet fell 72-58.
– In the first half of their five losses, the Irish have been outscored by just 12 points combined (159-147). Notre Dame has been outscored by 68 points (206-138) in the second half of its five setbacks.

– Notre Dame has held 12 of its opponents to 40% or below shooting from the field. The Irish held California under 30% on Nov. 26.
– The Irish held Seton Hall (Feb. 26) to just 30.4% (17-56) shooting from the floor. That matched the lowest shooting percentage for an Irish opponent in a BIG EAST game this season. Notre Dame also held USF (Feb. 12) to 30.4% (21-69).
– Seton Hall’s 48 points were the fewest scored by an Irish opponent in a BIG EAST game this season. It’s the second time this season the Irish have held an opponent to under 50 points. Notre Dame held California to 44 points.
– Prior to the Seton Hall contest, the last time the Irish held a BIG EAST foe under 50 points was in a 50-45 win over Pittsburgh during the quarterfinals of last season’s BIG EAST Tournament. The last time Notre Dame held a BIG EAST opponent under 50 during a regular-season game was a 61-48 victory over Georgetown during the 2003-04 campaign.

– The Fighting Irish have 94 more made free throws than their opponents have attempts from the charity stripe. The Fighting Irish are 532-736 (.723) from the free throw line this season. Irish opponents are 314-438 (.717) from the line.
– The Irish are 21-0 this season when making more free throws than their opponent.
– The Irish have made 20 or more free throws in a game 13 times this season. Notre Dame made a season-high 30 free throws (on 43 attempts) versus Georgia, an 89-83 double-overtime Irish victory.
– Against Maine, Notre Dame shot a season-best 92.6% from the free throw line (25-27). The Fighting Irish also shot above 90% from the charity stripe against Stony Brook as they connected on 11 of 12 shots (91.7%).

– The Fighting Irish are 21-1 this season when out-rebounding their opponent.
– Notre Dame boasts a +5.1 overall rebound margin this season. The Irish have a +7.2 margin in their 25 wins, while they are -5.6 in their five losses. Notre Dame has been out-rebounded in four of its five losses.
– Senior forward Carleton Scott is averaging a team-high 7.1 rebounds per game. Tyrone Nash leads the team with 76 offensive rebounds.

– The Irish have been able to produce key comebacks en route to victory this season. Notre Dame is 6-3 this season when trailing at halftime.
– At Connecticut on Saturday, Notre Dame overturned a 36-33 halftime deficit to produce a 70-67 victory. The Fighting Irish trailed the Huskies by five (65-60) with 4:24 left in the contest, but finished the game on a 10-2 run to notch the win.
– Against Seton Hall (Feb. 26), the Irish were down by 11 (25-14) late in the first half and trailed by three (27-24) at the intermission. Notre Dame out scored the Pirates by 15 (36-21) in the second half to register the 60-48 victory.
– Notre Dame staged three comebacks during a five-game stretch of BIG EAST play to provide momentum that the team is still riding. The Fighting Irish were down by nine points (45-36) at halftime to Marquette (Jan. 22) and came back to win 80-75. Against Pittsburgh (Jan. 24), the Irish trailed by five points (28-23) at the intermission and prevailed 56-51. Notre Dame overcame a four-point halftime deficit (44-40) to defeat Louisville 89-79 in overtime (Feb. 9).
– The Fighting Irish rebounded from a 12-point halftime deficit (37-25) to defeat Georgia in double-overtime, 89-83, at the Old Spice Classic (Nov. 25).
– Arguably Notre Dame’s top comeback of the season occurred during the title game of the Old Spice Classic. Notre Dame trailed Wisconsin 43-32 with 9:21 left in regulation, yet the Fighting Irish finished the game on a 26-8 run to claim the 58-51 victory. Included in that stretch was a 15-0 run for the Irish.

– Clutch free throw shooting has been key for Notre Dame in three BIG EAST victories.
– Rutgers (Feb. 6) trimmed the Irish lead to three (70-67) with 59 seconds left to play, yet Ben Hansbrough went 6-for-6 from the charity stripe down the stretch to help the Irish produce the 76-69 victory. Hansbrough is 57-67 (.851) from the free throw line in the final five minutes of regulation and overtime this season (see box on page 7).
– After Marquette trimmed Notre Dame’s lead to four (69-65) with 3:21 left in the game on Jan. 22, the Irish went 9-10 from the charity stripe en route to the 80-75 victory. Tyrone Nash went 4-4 during that stretch, while Hansbrough was 2-2 and Scott Martin connected on three of his four attempts.
– Versus Cincinnati (Jan. 19), the Irish led by five (57-52) with 1:18 remaining. Notre Dame went 9-10 from the free throw line down the stretch to secure the 66-58 victory. Hansbrough went 5-6, while Tim Abromaitis and Eric Atkins both were 2-2.

– Seniors Tim Abromaitis (F), Ben Hansbrough (G), Scott Martin (G), Tyrone Nash (F) and Carleton Scott (F) have combined for 144 of a possible 150 starts this season. Notre Dame is 21-3 when that quintet starts. Nash, Abromaitis and Hansbrough have started all 30 games this season, while Martin has 29 starts. Scott started the first 14 contests of the season before suffering a hamstring injury versus Syracuse (Jan. 1). He returned to the starting lineup on Jan. 22 versus Marquette. Scott has 25 starts this season. Notre Dame’s game-by-game starters are listed on page 12 of this notes packet.

Tim Abromaitis, Ben Hansbrough and Tyrone Nash have played in all 65 games over the past two seasons. Nash and Hansbrough both have started all 65 of those contests. Overall, Nash has played in a team-best 80 straight contests. The last game he did not play in was at Cincinnati on Feb. 4, 2009.

– Seven of Notre Dame’s 14 BIG EAST wins came against a ranked opponent. The Irish defeated #9/9 Georgetown 69-55 in the league opener. Notre Dame topped #8/9 Connecticut 73-70 and downed #25/- Cincinnati 66-58. The Irish upended #2/2 Pittsburgh 56-51 and #16/15 Louisville 89-79 in overtime. Last week, Notre Dame bested #19/19 Villanova 93-72 and #16/16 Connecticut 70-67.

– Notre Dame has defeated three top-10 teams this season. Most recently, the Irish won at #2/2 Pittsburgh, 56-51, on Jan. 24. Notre Dame opened BIG EAST play with a 69-55 triumph of #9/9 Georgetown (Dec. 29) and the Irish produced a 73-70 victory over #8/9 Connecticut (Jan. 4).
– Prior to this season, the last time Notre Dame defeated three top-10 teams in the same season was during the 2008-09 campaign. That season, the Irish took down #6/7 Texas (81-80), #9/10 Georgetown (73-67) and #5/7 Louisville (90-57).
– This season’s wins over Georgetown and Connecticut marked the first time since the 2002-03 campaign that Notre Dame defeated two top-10 teams in a three-game span.
– Prior to the wins over Georgetown and Connecticut, the last time Notre Dame recorded back-to-back home wins over top-10 teams was during the 1960-61 season when the Irish knocked off #7 DePaul (61-58 on Jan. 17, 1961) and #7 St. John’s (64-63 on Feb. 2, 1961).

PITT-STOPPED – Notre Dame’s win over then second-ranked Pittsburgh on Jan. 24, produced several noteworthy items as the Irish recorded their third win over a top-10 foe this season:
– The win was the highest-ranked opponent a Notre Dame team under Mike Brey had beaten on the road in a true road game.
– The victory was the first in a true road game over a top-five team for Notre Dame since a 75-70 win over No. 2 Connecticut on Jan. 2, 2000.
– The win matched the highest-ranked opponent an Irish squad had beaten during the Brey era. On Dec. 8, 2002, Notre Dame defeated No. 2 Texas in the championship game of the BB&T Classic in Washington, D.C., 98-92.
– Notre Dame had been winless (0-5) at the Petersen Events Center prior to victory and it marked just the 12th loss ever for a Pittsburgh team in 157 games at the PEC. The victory also snapped the Panthers’ 20-game home win streak as Pittsburgh suffered just its 11th loss ever at the PEC in BIG EAST play.
– It was the first win for an Irish team at Pittsburgh since a 56-53 victory on Jan. 12, 2002. It was Notre Dame’s third straight victory over the Panthers, its longest win streak since the Irish joined the BIG EAST Conference in 1995-96.
– The Irish held the Panthers to their lowest scoring output of the season (51 points) in their first BIG EAST loss of the 2010-11 campaign.
Ben Hansbrough outscored the Pittsburgh 13-12 in the final 9:22 of the contest as he netted 15 of his game-high 19 points in the second half.

– Notre Dame has scored less than 60 points in its five losses this season. The Irish are 3-5 this season when scoring fewer than 60 points. The Irish are averaging 57.0 points per game in the five setbacks and 79.2 points in their 25 victories.
– The Irish are surrendering 64.0 points per game in their wins and they are allowing 73.0 points per game in their losses.

– Notre Dame is 31-7 (.816) in its last 38 games dating back to last season. Following a double-overtime loss to Louisville (91-89) in Freedom Hall on Feb. 17, 2010, the Irish won their final four regular-season games in 2009-10 (Pittsburgh, Georgetown, Connecticut and Marquette) and won two games in the BIG EAST Tournament (Seton Hall and Pittsburgh) before losing to West Virginia in the conference championship semifinals and to Old Dominion in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

– Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey notched his 100th BIG EAST regular-season victory with the 73-70 win over Connecticut on Jan. 4. Brey is the sixth coach in BIG EAST Conference history with 100 regular-season league wins. Brey’s Irish teams are 112-72 (.609) all-time in regular-season BIG EAST play.

– Mike Brey is in his 11th season along the Irish sidelines. He is the third-longest tenured coach in the BIG EAST, behind only Jim Boeheim of Syracuse and Jim Calhoun of Connecticut. Brey stands sixth all-time in career BIG EAST victories (both regular-season and tournament) with his 118-82 (.590) mark. He is one of eight coaches in BIG EAST history to record 100 conference wins.

BIG EAST All-Time Winningest Coaches By Victories
(Includes conference regular-season and championship games)
1. Jim Boeheim, Syracuse 383-210 (.645)
2. Jim Calhoun, Connecticut 298-172 (.634)
3. John Thompson, Georgetown 232-123 (.654)
4. Lou Carnesecca, St. John’s 139-80 (.635)
5. Rollie Massimino, Villanova 123-92 (.572)
6. Mike Brey, Notre Dame 118-82 (.590)
7. Jamie Dixon, Pittsburgh 109-44 (.712)
8. Jay Wright, Villanova 107-78 (.578)

– This season and the 2006-07 campaign are the only two seasons during Notre Dame’s BIG EAST era that the Irish suffered just one regular-season non-conference loss.
– Notre Dame’s loss to Kentucky on Dec. 8 was the latest calendar date the Irish had suffered their first setback of the season since the 1979-80 campaign. Notre Dame started that season 7-0 before suffering its first loss to Kentucky (86-80) on Dec. 29, 1979.
– Notre Dame’s 8-0 start this season was the fifth in program history and the best ever for the Irish under head coach Mike Brey.

– Notre Dame won the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla. (Nov. 25-28) by capturing wins over Georgia (89-83 in 2ot), California (57-44) and Wisconsin (58-51). It marked the first three-game in-season tournament victory for the Fighting Irish since winning the 2001 Hawaii-Pacific Thanksgiving Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii
– In the Old Spice Classic, the Irish held California and Wisconsin to five and 19 points, respectively, in the first half of play.
– Notre Dame held California (16-61) and Wisconsin (20-57) to a combined 36-118 (.305) from the field during the final two games of the Old Spice Classic.
– Notre Dame out-rebounded Wisconsin 43-28 in the title game of the tournament.
– Notre Dame held a decisive free throw advantage in all three games of the tournament. The Irish made 20 more free throws than both Georgia (30-10) and California (26-6). Notre Dame made 16 more free throws (20-4) than Wisconsin in the title game.
– Senior forward Tim Abromaitis was named the MVP of the Old Spice Classic as he averaged 14.0 ppg. and 8.7 rpg. during the three-game run. Fellow senior forward Carleton Scott also was named to the all-tournament team. Scott was the only Irish player to reach double figures in points during every game of the event.

– Notre Dame won the Old Spice Classic and was one of six BIG EAST teams to come away with an in-season tournament title during the month of November.
Champions Notre Dame – Old Spice Classic
Connecticut – EA Sports Maui Invitational
Pittsburgh – 2K Sports Classic
Syracuse – Legends Classic
Georgetown – Charleston Classic
St. John’s – Great Alaska Shootout
Villanova – Preseason NIT Tip-Off
West Virginia – Puerto Rico Tip-Off

– Notre Dame has earned appearances in the postseason in each of the last 11 years, which marks the longest stretch in school history. The Irish have been to the NCAA Tournament on six occasions and the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) five times during this current stretch. Under head coach Mike Brey, Notre Dame has played in the NCAAs six times and NIT four times.

– Since his arrival at Notre Dame, head coach Mike Brey has led the Irish to a 112-72 (.609) record in BIG EAST regular-season games and a 6-10 mark in tournament play for an overall record of 118-82 (.590) against league foes. Brey’s Irish teams have won 10 or more conference regular-season games in seven of his 11 seasons. Prior to his arrival at Notre Dame, Irish teams had just a 35-53 (.398) regular-season record from 1995-2000.

– During head coach Mike Brey’s tenure, Irish teams have only had two losing seasons in BIG EAST play – 6-10 in 2005-06 and 8-10 in 2008-09. Since the 2005-06 campaign when the Irish finished 6-10 after beginning the BIG EAST regular-season with a 1-8 record, Notre Dame has gone 62-33 (.653) over the last 95 regular-season contests. In addition to Notre Dame, only four other BIG EAST teams have had records of .500 or better eight or more times – Pittsburgh and Syracuse (nine times) and Notre Dame, Connecticut and Villanova (eight times).

– The 2010-11 campaign marks the 106th season of basketball at Notre Dame and the 16th season as a member of the BIG EAST Conference. Notre Dame teams have posted a 1699-925 record for a .647 winning percentage. In 15 seasons as a member of the BIG EAST, the Irish own a 147-125 (.540) record all-time in conference regular-season play.

– Seniors Tim Abromaitis, Ben Hansbrough, Tyrone Nash and Carleton Scott will serve as captains during the 2010-11 season. All four are captains for the first time in their careers.

– This year’s Notre Dame roster features several players with some strong basketball bloodlines:

  • Tim Abromaitis – His father, Jim, played basketball at the University of Connecticut (1975-80) and was drafted by the New Jersey Nets. His brother, Jason, played basketball at Yale (2003-07).
  • Mike Broghammer – His uncle, Christian Laettner, played professional basketball for 13 seasons and was a member of the 1992 gold medal Dream Team. He played for Duke University (1988-92) and led the Blue Devils to national championships in 1991 and 1992.
  • Joey Brooks – His father, Lott J. Brooks, III, played college basketball at Eckerd College (1974-78).
  • Jerian Grant – His father, Harvey, played basketball at the University of Oklahoma (1986-88), and was the 12th pick overall in the 1988 NBA Draft and played from 1988-99 in the NBA. His uncle, Horace Grant, played at Clemson, and was the 10th overall pick in the NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls. He is the owner of four NBA championship rings. His older brother, Jerai, is a senior on the Clemson basketball team, while a younger brother, Jerami is a junior on the DeMatha basketball team.
  • Ben Hansbrough – His brother, Tyler, played basketball at the University of North Carolina (2005-09). A three-time All-American, he was the 2008 National Player of the Year and led the Tar Heels to the 2009 national championship. Currently, he is in his second season with the Indiana Pacers, and was the 13th pick overall in the 2009 NBA Draft.
  • Tom Knight – His father, Karl, played basketball at Bowdoin (1976-80).

Jerian Grant is the first Irish basketball player from DeMatha High School to attend Notre Dame during the Mike Brey era. Brey played and coached at DeMatha and also is the alma mater of assistant coach Rod Balanis. Former Irish players who also played at DeMatha include Bob Whitmore (1967-69), Sid Catlett (1969-71) and Adrian Dantley (1974-76).

– Pat Connaughton, a 6-5, 195-pound swingman from Arlington, Mass., was the lone early-November 2011 signee for head coach Mike Brey. He is ranked 73rd nationally by Scout.com and 100th by ESPNU.
– A four-year starter at St. John’s Prep in Danvers, Mass., Connaughton averaged 24.0 points and 17.9 rebounds in 2009-10 as he led St. John’s to one of the best seasons in program history as the squad finished with a 21-3 mark. In addition, his squad won the Catholic Conference championship. His team was ranked seventh in the final Massachusetts state poll after making the school’s first appearance since 1974 in the Division 1 state finals.

– Mike Brey was elected chair of the 2010-11 NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee in May 2010 and is serving his fourth year on the rules committee.