March 18, 2008
Notre Dame and George Mason are set for a first-ever meeting in Thursday East regional NCAA first round matchup. The Irish, 24-7 on the season, are making their fifth NCAA tournament appearance in the last eighth years.
2008 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship East Regional March 20 & 22 – Pepsi Center (Denver, Colo.)
Irish Back In The NCAA Tournament
- Notre Dame returns to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year and the fifth time in eight seasons under head coach Mike Brey. The Irish also have made appearances in the NCAA under Brey in 2001 (1-1), 2002 (1-1), 2003 (2-1) and 2007 (0-1).
- The Irish are the No. 5 seed in the East Region. The last time Notre Dame played in the East Region was in 1989 when it was the No. 9 seed in Providence, Rhode Island. In that bracket, the Irish beat No. 8 seed Vanderbilt (81-65) and then lost to No. 1 seed Georgetown (81-74).
- Notre Dame last played as the No. 5 seed in 2003 in the West Region when it advanced to the regional semifinal with wins over No. 12 Wisconsin-Milwaukee (70-69) and No. 4 Illinois (68-60).
- Notre Dame is making its 29th appearance in the NCAA Tournament field. The Irish own an all-time record of 29-32 (.475) in NCAA tournament action.
Noting The Irish
- Notre Dame (24-7, 14-4) lost to Marquette (89-79) in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Tournament after earning a first-round bye in the championship for the second straight year and fourth time in eight seasons under head coach Mike Brey. The Irish finished tied for second with Louisville in the final BIG EAST regular-season standings, but earned the No. 3 seed overall by virtue of the Cardinals’s victory back on February 28.
- Notre Dame closed out the 2007-08 regular season by winning 11 of its final 13 games and finished with 24 regular-season victories, the most regular-season wins by an Irish team under Brey and most since 1973-74 when that squad finished up the regular season with a 24-5 mark heading into the NCAA Tournament.
- Notre Dame has won 24 games three times during Mike Brey’s coaching tenure – 2002-03, 2006-07 and 2007-08. Notre Dame last won 25 or more games in 1973-74 when that Irish squad finished with a final 26-3 record.
- Notre Dame closed out the home portion of the 2007-08 schedule with a 68-55 win over St. John’s on March 5. With the victory, the Irish made Joyce Center and BIG EAST history to become the first Notre Dame team in the 40-year history of playing at the Joyce Center and the first-ever conference team to go undefeated at home in back-to-back seasons.
- Notre Dame’s 14-4 record marked the best-ever for an Irish team in BIG EAST play and the most-ever conference regular-season victories since joining the BIG EAST in 1995-96. Prior to the 14 league wins, Notre Dame had previously won 11 regular-season contests during the 2000-01 and 2006-07 campaigns en route to 11-5 marks in both of those campaigns.
- The home win over St. John’s extended Notre Dame school-record Joyce Center home win streak to 37 games (second active longest win streak nationally) and BIG EAST Conference win streak to 18 – a mark that ranks second all-time and is just two shy of the league record of 20 straight victories. The Irish have not lost at the Joyce Center since February 25, 2006 with an 80-72 setback to Marquette.
- The all-time Notre Dame home win streak is 38 games. That mark began with a 41-31 victory over Wisconsin on December 11, 1943 and ended with a 68-51 loss to St. Louis on February 8, 1948.
- Notre Dame has played seven ranked opponents and are 2-7 in those matchups.
- Notre Dame reached double-digit wins in BIG EAST play for the fifth time in eight seasons under head coach Mike Brey and earned a first-round bye for the fourth time during his tenure.
- With its 24-6 record, Notre Dame has posted five 20-win seasons in eight campaigns under Mike Brey. He is only the second coach in school history to register five 20-win campaigns in his first eight seasons. Digger Phelps was the only other coach to post five 20-win campaigns in his first eight years of his 20-year tenure at Notre Dame.
Irish Played Nine Teams in 2008 NCAA Field
- Notre Dame faced nine teams during the 2007-08 campaign that are part of the field of 65 teams in this year’s NCAA tournament field. The Irish were 6-6 versus those teams: Louisville (0-1), Villanova (1-0), Kansas State (1-0), Georgetown (0-1), Pittsburgh (1-0), Marquette (1-2), Connecticut (1-1), Baylor (0-1) and West Virginia (1-0).
Breaking Down The Pod
- Notre Dame’s matchup with No. 12 George Mason will mark the first-ever meeting between the two schools. Notre Dame is 12-0 all-time versus teams from the Colonial Athletic Association.
- A possible matchup with No. 4 seed Washington State if the Irish advance past the first round also would be the first-ever between the two schools. Notre Dame is 32-40 (.444) all-time versus teams from the Pacific-10.
- If the Irish were to play No. 13 seed Winthrop, it would mark the second straight year the two schools have faced each other in the NCAA tournament. Last year, the Irish dropped a 74-64 decision in the first round last year of the Midwest Region in Spokane, Wash. Notre Dame was the No. 6 seed, while Winthop was the No. 11 seed. Notre Dame is 2-1 all-time versus teams from the Big South Conference.
Going For Win No. 25
- A win against George Mason would be Notre Dame’s 25th of the season and the most-ever for an Irish team under head coach Mike Brey. The last Irish team to win 25-plus games in a season was the 1973-74 team that completed the year with a 26-3 record.
- Notre Dame and George Mason have faced two common opponents this season – Kansas State and Villanova. The Patriots defeated Kansas State (87-77) and lost to Villanova (84-76). Both of those games were played in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla., in November. The Irish were 2-0 against those two teams.
- Notre Dame and Washington State have one common opponent – Baylor. The Cougars were victorious over the Bears (67-64) on November 30, while the Irish lost to Baylor in the second round of the Paradise Jam.
- Winthrop and Notre Dame both played in the Paradise Jam in November but did not face each other in the eight-team tounament. They share three common opponents – Georgia Tech, Baylor and West Virginia. The Eagles played both Georgia Tech and Baylor in the Paradise Jam and beat the Yellow Jackets (79-73) in the second round before losing to Baylor (62-54) in the championship game. Winthrop also dropped a 70-53 decision at West Virginia, while the Irish were victorious in their only meeting against the Mountaineers at the Joyce Center.
Notre Dame In The State Of Colorado
- Notre Dame will be playing in the state of Colorado for just the sixth time in its program’s 103-year history and are 3-2 in those contests.
|vs. Air Force:||@ Denver||1-8-66||L 57-68|
|@ Colorado Springs||12-12-58||W 67-52|
|@ Colorado Springs||1-6-68||W 58-45|
|@ Colorado Springs||1-10-71||W 75-71|
|vs. Denver:||@ Denver||12-20-47||L 60-61|
Single Digit Losses Guaranteed
- Notre Dame was 24-7 a year ago heading into the first round of the NCAA tournament and is guaranteed single-digit losses for the second straight year. The last Irish teams to register back-to-back seasons with fewer than 10 losses were the 1987-88 (20-9) and 1988-89 (21-9) squads.
Notre Dame Reaches Highest Ranking Since 2002-03 Season
- Notre Dame made its inaugural appearance in the polls this season during the first week of February and debuted at 22nd in the Associated Press ranking and 21st in the ESPN/USA Today poll. Last week (the 18th poll of the season), the Irish were 14th in both polls which marked the highest ranking for a Notre Dame team since the 2002-03 when that squad climbed as high as fifth during the first week in January of 2003.
Brey No Stranger To NCAA Tournament Success
- Mike Brey is no stranger to the NCAA Tournament. He has a 4-6 record in the tournament as a head coach (4-4 at Notre Dame) and is 3-1 in first round games with the Irish (3-3 all-time). In Thursday’s matchup with George Mason, he will be coaching in his 47th NCAA tournament contest. In 13 coaching appearances (as either a head or assistant coach), he is 35-11 (.761) with six final four appearances and two national titles as an assistant coach. Brey reached the NCAA tournament seven times as an assistant at Duke from 1988-95. In that span, Mike Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils posted a 31-5 mark that included Final Four berths in 1988, ’89, ’90, ’91. ’92 and ’94. From 1988-92, Duke reached the Final Four in five consecutive seasons and compiled a 25-3 record, including back-to-back national titles in ’91 and ’92. As head coach at Delaware, he guided the Blue Hens to the NCAA tournament berths in 1998 and 1999.
Brey Cops Second Straight BIG EAST Coach Of The Year Honor
- Mike Brey was named the OppenheimerFunds BIG EAST Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year. He became only the third coach in league history to win BIG EAST coach-of-the-year honors in consecutive seasons. The others were P.J. Carlesimo of Seton Hall (1988-89) and Lou Carnesecca of St. John’s (1985-86). It was his third such accolade in 13 seasons as a head coach – he was named America East co-Coach of the Year in 1998 while at Delaware. Former head coach John MacLeod was named BIG EAST Coach of the Year in 1997.
Harangody Tabbed BIG EAST Player Of The Year
- Luke Harangody became the second player under head coach Mike Brey to be named BIG EAST Player of the Year after becoming just the second player in league history (the other was former Irish great Troy Murphy in 1999-2000) to lead the conference in both scoring (23.3) and rebounding (11.3). A member of the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team in 2007, he did not appear on any of the conference pre-season teams in the fall. Harangody became the first sophomore to win player-of-the-year honors since Connecticut’s Caron Butler shared the award with Pittsburgh’s Brandin Knight in 2001-02.
- In 13 seasons as a BIG EAST member, Notre Dame has had three player-of-the-year honorees on four occasions (Pat Garrity was the other recipient) in 1996-97.
Harangody And McAlarney Garner First Team All-BIG EAST Honors
- For the second consecutive year and second time in school history, Notre Dame had two players claim all-BIG EAST first team honors when Luke Harangody and Kyle McAlarney were selected for the first times in their careers. Connecticut was the only other league school to place two on the first team.
- Notre Dame has had a first-team selection each of the last three years as Harangody and McAlarney become the seventh and eighth players under head coach Mike Brey to earn first-team honors. It also marked the eighth consecutive year that an Irish player has been named to one of the all-conference teams under Brey.
- In 13 seasons as a BIG EAST member, Notre Dame has had nine difference players earn first team all-conference honors on 11 occasions.
McAlarney Puts His Name In Irish Record Books
- With his four three-pointers against Marquette in Notre Dame’s loss in the BIG EAST quarterfinals, Kyle McAlarney eclipsed Colin Falls’ single-season three-point field goal mark of 102 that was set during the 2005-06 campaign (Falls’ junior year). McAlarney now has 103 three-point field goals to his credit and it marks just the second time that an Irish player has connected on more than 100 three-point field goals in a season.
- With its 68-55 win over St. John’s on March 5 the Irish made school as well as BIG EAST history. The victory marked the second straight undefeated season at home for the Irish at the Joyce Center. After going 18-0 in 2006-07, Notre Dame completed the 2007-08 campaign with a 17-0 mark. The 17 wins are the second most for an Irish team in the 40-year history of the Joyce Center. The Irish also became the first BIG EAST team to finish back-to-back seasons undefeated at home – 8-0 in 2006-07 and 9-0 in 2007-08.
BIG EAST Win Streak
- Notre Dame’s 18-game BIG EAST homecourt win streak is its longest since the Irish joined the conference in 1995-96 and is the second-longest in conference history.
20 – Pittsburgh (6 games in 2003-04, 8 games in 2002-03 and 6 games in 2001-02)
18 – Notre Dame (1 game in 2005-06, 8 games in 2006-07 and 9 games in 2007-08)
*The only team that the Irish have not played at home during the streak is Georgetown.
Five 20-Win Seasons Under His Belt
- With its 24-6 record, the Irish have reached the 20-win mark for the fifth time in eight seasons and second consecutive year under head coach Mike Brey. Notre Dame’s 20-win campaigns under Brey have been in 2000-01 (20-10), 2001-02 (22-11), 2002-03 (24-10) and 24-8 (2006-07). In the 103-year history of the program, Notre Dame teams have won 20 or more games on 32 occasions.
BIG EAST Turnaround
- Under head coach Mike Brey’s tenure, Notre Dame has had only one losing season. That season was in 2005-06 when the Irish finished 6-10 after beginning the BIG EAST campaign with a 1-8 record. Since that 1-8 start, Notre Dame has gone 30-11 (.732) over the last 41 regular-season games.
Checking Up On The Honors For Harangody
- BIG EAST Player of the Year
- First Team All-BIG EAST
- One of 24 finalists for John R. Wooden Award
- Naismith Top 30 Midseason List
- Oscar Robertson Award nominee
- USBWA District V Player of the Year and All-District team member
- NABC District 10 First Team
- Second Team All-American by SI.com and ESPN.com
Success On And Off The Court
- The 2007 fall semester grades are in and the Irish once again achieved great success in the classroom with the team compiling an overall 3.135 grade point average for the semester which marked the sixth time in eight semesters that the Irish finished with a combined 3.00 or better. Nine of 14 players earned a 3.000 or better
– Tim Abromaitis (3.500), Tim Andree (3.479), Ryan Ayers (3.067), Luke Harangody (3.250), Zach Hillesland (3.654), Tory Jackson (3.333), Tom Kopko (3.733), Tyrone Nash (3.000) and Luke Zeller (3.500).
Notre Dame In The Top 20 Of NCAA Statistics
- Notre Dame tops the nation nationally in assists per game with 18.9. Notre Dame also ranks in the top 20 in two other categories – scoring offense (15th-80.6), three-point field goal percentage (6th-41.0) . Luke Harangody ranks 19th in rebounding at 10.2 rebounds per game, while Kyle McAlarney is 13th in three-point field percentage at 44.8 percent and Tory Jackson is 15th in assists at 6.1 per game.
BIG EAST Beast
- Luke Harangody finished the 18-game BIG EAST season by leading the league in both scoring (23.3) and rebounding (11.3). The only other player to lead the league in both categories was Troy Murphy during his sophomore season in 1999-2000 as he averaged 21.7 points and 10.3 rebounds. Murphy also led the lead in scoring during his junior season (2000-01) as he averaged 22.8 points per game. Pat Garrity (1997-98) led the league in scoring when he averaged 24.1 points per game.
Golly Good Gody
- Luke Harangody’s 40-point performance against Louisville on February 28 was the first-ever 40-point outing for an Irish player in a BIG EAST game. He connected on 16-28 field goals and was 3-4 from three-point range. Heading into the contest, Harangody had attempted just four three pointers in 58 career outings and had missed all four of those attempts. He also finished with 12 rebounds to record his 17th double-double of the season.
- Harangody also became the first Irish player to score 40 points in a game since since Monty Williams tallied 42 points against Valparaiso in a 94-74 victory on November 28, 1993 at the Joyce Center.
- He also became the ninth different Irish player to score 40 points in a game on 35 occasions. The other Notre Dame players to reach that mark include: Austin Carr (23), Adrian Dantley (4), Larry Sheffield (2), Lloyd Aubrey (1), Tom Hawkins (1), Bob Whitmore (1), Collis Jones (1) and Monty Williams (1).
- With his nine three-pointers against Syracuse on February 24, Kyle McAlarney broke the Notre Dame single-game three-point mark. McAlarney finished 9-11 from the field in the contest en route to his third 30-point outing of the season as he finished with 30 minutes. Other than hitting all three of his free-throw attempts, McAlarney scored all of his points from three-point range. The previous mark was 8 shared by Keith Friel (vs. Syracuse, 1998), Matt Carroll (vs. Syracuse, 2003) and Colin Falls (vs. Pittsburgh, 2005 and Seton Hall, 2006). McAlarney has 97 three-pointers this season and needs just six to break the single-season mark of 102 set by Colin Falls during the 2005-06 season.
Harangody Joins 1,000 Point Club; Kurz Set To Follow
- Luke Harangody became the 47th player in Notre Dame history to score 1,000 points. With its 13-point effort against Marquette, he now has 1003 career points in 63 career outings for a 15.9 average. He becomes the first sophomore since Chris Thomas in 2002-03 to reach the 1,000-point mark.
- Rob Kurz needs just one point to reach the 1,000-point plateau. He has 999 points in 106 outings for a career scoring average of 9.4 points per game.
No Sophomore Slump
- Irish sophomore Luke Harangody has had anything but a sophomore slump this season as he is currently averaging 20.8 points and 10.2 rebounds. He also has scored 644 points. Comparing his current sophomore season to that of past Irish players, his 644 points presently are the third-highest total by an Irish sophomore and his current 20.8 scoring average is fifth all-time.
Where Charity Prevails
- Notre Dame owns a decisive advantage from the charity stripe over its opponents. The Irish have outscored their opponents 487-297 from the line in 31 games in 2007-08 and had a 297 to 183 against BIG EAST foes during the 18-game conference season. Notre Dame is shooting 73.6 percent overall from the line (compared to 64.6 percent for opponents) and connected on 75.3 (compared to 64.9 for opponents) in BIG EAST games during the regular season. In the win over Marquette, Notre Dame was 24-31 (.774), while Marquette was just 5-8 (.625). The Irish were a perfect 6-6 from the line in the final 26 seconds of the game. Against Pittsburgh, Notre Dame finished 18-20 from the charity stripe.
Irish Show Overtime Resilience
- Notre Dame’s win over Providence on January 31 marked its first overtime game since March 20, 2006 when the Irish dropped an 87-84 double-overtime decision at Michigan in the second round of the NIT. It also was the first overtime for the Irish after losing five straight overtime decisions (all during the 2005-06 campaign). Notre Dame’s last overtime win prior to the Providence victory was a 93-92 victory against Georgetown at the Joyce Center on February 1, 2003 – nearly five years to the day.
Getting In A Second Half Gear
- For just the second time this season, Notre Dame trailed at the intermission (35-30) in its eventual 82-70 victory over Pittsburgh. The Irish outscored the Panthers 52-35 in the second half in their eventual 82-70 victory. In fact, Notre Dame erased an 11-point second half deficit (51-40) – its largest of the season – and outscored the Panthers 42-19 in the final 13:44 of the contest. The final 12-point margin of victory was the largest of the game for the Irish.
Now That’s Something To Talk About
- Notre Dame’s current record-setting 37-game home win streak spans three seasons – the final two games played during the 2005-06 campaign, the entire 2006-07 season (18 games) and 17 games in 2007-08. Here’s a look at the dominance of the Irish during its present win streak:
|FG Percentage||1047-2184 (.479)||906-2298 (.394)|
|3-FG Percentage||324-820 (.395)||244-740 (.330)|
|Points/Avg.||3,104 (83.9 ppg.)||2,413 (65.2 ppg.)|
|Margin of Victory||+691 points (+18.7)|
Notes: Notre Dame has shot .500 or better in 15 of 37 games
Notre Dame opponents have shot .500 or better in 3 of 37 games
26 wins by 10-plus points
13 wins by 20-plus points
9 wins by 30-plus points
5 wins by 40-plus points
1 win by 50-plus points
- Notre Dame’s 81-74 overtime win against Providence was the first overtime game during the streak.
- Notre Dame trailed the Panthers by 11 (51-40) with 13:53 to play in the contest which marked the largest deficit at home for the Irish this season.
- The Irish only trailed twice at home this season at halftime – Cincinnati (32-27) and Pittsburgh (35-30).
Irish Find Comfort Away From The Joyce Center
- After starting off the season 0-2 in its first two BIG EAST road games, Notre Dame finished out the year 5-4 on the road and were 5-2 in their final seven conference regular-season road outings.
- In its first two BIG EAST road losses to Marquette (92-66) and Georgetown (84-65), Notre Dame lost by a combined 45 points and shot just 36.1 percent from the field (43-119), 25.0 percent from beyond the arc (11-44) and 72.3 percent (34-47) from the free-throw line.
A Tale Of Two Halves
- The first and second halves for Notre Dame against Cincinnati in its 91-74 victory couldn’t have been more different than night and day. In the first half, the Irish trailed 34-27 at the break (the first time they had trailed at home at halftime this season) after shooting only 24.0 percent from the field (6-25). In the second-half, the Irish outscored the Bearcats 64-40 as they shot 69.2 percent (18-26) from the field, 66.7 percent (6-9) from three-point range and 84.6 percent (22-26) from the free throw line.
- Luke Harangody scored 24 of his game-high 25 points in the second half. It was the largest scoring output by an Irish player in a half since Chris Thomas scored 27 of 39 points in the second half of a 77-66 victory over Saint Louis on March 22, 2004.
- The 64 points in the second half were the most points by an Irish team in a half of a regulation game under head coach Mike Brey.
- The six first-half field goals matched the fewest ever scored by an Irish team in a half under Brey.
Valuing The Basketball
- In its back-to-back wins over Colgate and Eastern Michigan, Notre Dame committed just eight and nine turnovers, respectively, marking the only time this season that the Irish had fewer than 10 turnovers in back-to-back contests. In the Irish win over Brown on December 29, the Irish had seven turnovers, including just one in the first half. Two of the strengths of Notre Dame basketball teams under head coach Mike Brey have been distributing and taking care of the basketball. The Irish are averaging 18.9 assists per game and 13.0 turnovers for a 1.46 assists-to-turnover ratio. Notre Dame has dished off 20 or more assists in 12 games this season. The 24 turnovers committed by Notre Dame in the loss at Marquette were the most ever for an Irish team under head coach Mike Brey.
Double The Pleasure
- Luke Harangody recorded a career-best sixth straight double-double against Connecticut on February 13 when he scored a career-high 32 points and matched his career-high with 16 rebounds. He had that streak snapped against Rutgers when he finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.
- Harangody has 17 double-doubles on the season and 17 in the last 27 contests, including 12 during the 18-game BIG EAST regular season.
- The last Irish player to register six consecutive double-doubles was Ryan Humphrey in 2001-02 when he ended his career a double-double in the final 11 games of his career.
Where There’s A Will There’s A Way
- Tory Jackson had a rather slow start to the BIG EAST season, but over the last 14 games, in which the Irish are 11-3, the sophomore guard is averaging 10.1 points (141), 5.4 rebounds (76), 6.4 assists (89) and 1.8 steals (25).
- Jackson has recorded three double-doubles this season, which included back-to-back outings against Rutgers and Pittsburgh. He had one of the most unlikely double-doubles that any player under 6-0 could have when he scored 16 points and grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds in the win over Pittsburgh. Jackson also had five assists, three steals and one blocked shot in 37 minutes without committing a turnover. He registered his second career double-double in the previous game versus Rutgers when he scored a season-high 17 points and dished off 10 assists.
- Prior to the Louisville game in which he scored just five points, Jackson’s five-game double-figure scoring streak matched the longest of his career.
- Tory Jackson suffered a cornea abrasion in his right eye late in the first half of Notre Dame’s win over Connecticut on January 5. Jackson returned to play all 20 minutes of the second half and finished the game with 11 assists (matching a career-high), six points, seven rebounds and four steals. He hit two key free throws with 1:52 to play which gave the Irish a six-point lead.
Record-Setting Home Performance
- Notre Dame put an exclamation point on its record-setting 25th consecutive win at the Joyce Center on December 8. In the 108-62 win over Northern Illinois, the 108 points were the most points scored by the Irish under head coach Mike Brey in a regulation game (ND scored 116 vs. Georgetown in a four overtime contest in 2002), while the 46-point margin of victory was the third-largest during the Brey era. In addition, Notre Dame shot a blistering 72.0 percent from the field in the first half which marked the best shooting performance by an Irish team in the first half under Brey. The Irish also owned a 52-27 advantage on the boards.
McAlarney Shines On The Big Stage
- Staten Island native Kyle McAlarney made his return to New York City and Madison Square Garden a happy one on December 4 as he led his Irish to a 68-59 victory over Kansas State. McAlarney finished with 18 points in the contest on 6-13 shooting from the field (2-5 from three-point range). He scored 14 points in the second half, including nine straight in the final 2:10 of the contest. McAlarney nailed a three-pointer with 1:30 to play and converted four key free throws down the stretch.
- In Notre Dame’s BIG EAST quarterfinal loss to Marquette, he scored 20 points as as he finished 8-18 from the field and 4-10 from three-point range.
McAlarney Shines – Part II
- Kyle McAlarney netted a career-high 32 points in the win over Connecticut which was the first 30-plus performance of his career and the first time this season that an Irish player had topped the 30-point mark. He was 13-19 from the field and 6-7 from three-point range. Prior to McAlarney’s performance, the last Notre Dame player to score 30-plus points in a game was Russell Carter (32 points in a 71-68 loss to St. John’s at Madison Square Garden on January 23, 2007).
- Luke Harangody leads the Irish in scoring and rebounding averaging 20.8 points and 10.2 rebounds. He leads the team with 17 doubles and owns a 29-game double-figure scoring streak – the longest on the team and in his career. He has netted double figures in all but one game (Monmouth) and has finished with 10 or more rebounds in 17 contests. Harangody also tops the Irish with 18 games of 20 or more points.
- Kyle McAlarney scored 30-plus points in three of Notre Dame’s 18 BIG EAST regular-season games. He had a career-high 32 points in Notre Dame’s win over Connecticut on Jan. 5 and then tallied 30 points against Villanova on Jan. 26 and in the recent Irish win over Syracuse. The last player to score 30-plus points in multiple games during the BIG EAST regular season was Chris Quinn in 2005-06 when he registered four 30-plus point performances – 37 vs. Pittsburgh, 31 vs. Providence and Louisville and 34 vs. Seton Hall.
- Luke Harangody has two 30-point performances and one 40-point effort. He registered the first 30-point performance of his career when he scored a then career-high 31 points in Notre Dame’s overtime win against Providence as he connected on 11-22 shots from the field and was 9-10 from the free-throw line. In addition to scoring 31 points, he also grabbed 14 rebounds. He then topped that with a career-best 32-point effort in the loss at Connecticut and matched his personal best with 16 boards. Harangody recorded Notre Dame’s first 40-point performance since 1993 when he scored 40 points and grabbed 12 rebounds against Louisville.
- Luke Harangody’s 22 points in the win at Seton Hall marked his fourth straight game with 20-plus points. Heading into the contest, he had scored 20-plus in three straight contests on three different occasions.
- Kyle McAlarney also had a three-game 20-plus point outing streak of his own that came to an end against Kansas State. McAlarney registered his first 20-point outing of the season against Youngstown State when he tallied 23 points (a then career best). He followed that up with another career-high outing for the second time in as many games when he tallied 25 points versus Colgate. In the Eastern Michigan outing, McAlarney led the Irish for the second straight game with a 21-point performance.
- Harangody became the first player since Chris Thomas to score 20-plus points in four straight games in 2003-04 (his junior year) – Pittsburgh (23 points), Connecticut (31 points), Seton Hall (26 points) and Syracuse (25 points).
- The last player to record 20-plus points in five straight contests was Ryan Humphrey in 2001-02 – St. John’s (29), Providence (21), St. John’s (21), Connecticut (21) and Charlotte (20).
- Notre Dame’s 17-0 record at home this season marked just the fourth time since the opening of the Joyce Center in 1968-69 that an Irish team finished undefeated at home during the regular season. Last season, the Irish were 18-0 which marked the most wins ever for a Notre Dame team in a single season. In addition to this year’s team and the 2006-07 squad, only two other Notre Dame squads ever completed a season undefeated at home – the 1973-74 and 1985-86 squads both finished their campaigns with identical 15-0 records. The Irish have been the only BIG EAST team to finish undefeated at home each of the last two seasons. Dating back to the 2005-06 campaign, Notre Dame has won 37 consecutive games at home following the win over Syracuse – an active streak that is second among all Division I teams and is the longest in school history as well as the longest during Mike Brey’s tenure.
- Notre Dame’s current streak dates back to the final two games of the 2005-06 campaign as Irish defeated DePaul (66-61) in the regular-season finale and Vanderbilt (79-69) in the first round of the NIT. Notre Dame’s last loss at home was an 80-72 setback to Marquette on February 25, 2006.
Current NCAA Division I Home Court Win Streaks:
- BYU 47
- NOTRE DAME 37
- Tennessee 32
- Kansas 25
- Georgetown 22
Joyce Center Streakin’
- Notre Dame broke the Joyce Center home win streak mark on December 8 with its 108-62 win over Northern Illinois. Here’s a look at the Joyce Center streaks: 37 – Began with a 66-61 win over DePaul on 3/4/06 (current streak) 24 – Began with a 94-68 win over Xavier on 2/3/73 and ended with a 94-84 loss to Indiana on 12/11/74 22 – Began with an 88-68 win over Pittsburgh on 1/26/77 and ended with a 69-68 overtime loss to DePaul on 2/12/78 16 – Began with a 92-70 win over Fairfield on 12/9/82 and ended with a 51-47 loss to UCLA on 12/3/83 16 – Began with an 89-76 win over West Virginia on 2/20/02 and ended with a 87-79 loss to Connecticut on 2/24/03.
- Notre Dame joined an elite group last year when it registered its 1,600th win against Providence on February 15, 2007. In its 103rd season, Notre Dame has 1,631 victories. Only 12 other schools have reached the mark: Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Duke, Syracuse, Temple, St. John’s, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Utah and UCLA.
One Is A Lonely Number
- Rob Kurz is the lone senior among the 14 players on this year’s Irish roster. The last time Notre Dame had only one senior on the roster was during the 1983-84 when Cecil Rucker was the only senior member of that team that consisted of four juniors, five sophomores and three freshmen. The 1988-89 Irish squad featured no seniors on that team and was comprised of five juniors, two sophomores and five freshmen.
Nine Straight Postseason Appearances
- Notre Dame’s appearance in this year’s NCAA tournament field marks the fifth NCAA berth for the Irish in eight years. Since 2000, Notre Dame has appeared in either the NCAA or NIT tournaments each of the last nine years. The Irish played in the 2000 NIT and then earned consecutive NCAA tournament berths – 2001, ’02, ’03 – followed by NIT appearances in ’04, ’05 and ’06.
- The 33 points allowed by Notre Dame in the 76-33 win over Monmouth on November 16, 2007 were the fewest ever under head coach Mike Brey and the eight points in the second half were the fewest ever by an Irish team in a half since the inception of the three-point shot.
- The 33 points allowed were also the fewest given up by a Notre Dame team since January 4, 1950 in a 54-33 win at home against Butler. It also marked the fewest points scored by an Irish opponent in a road or neutral site game since Kentucky’s 34-28 win over the Irish on December 29, 1981 in Louisville, Ky.
- The 43-point margin of victory matched the seventh-highest for an Irish team under Mike Brey.
“D” The Key Against Monmouth
- En route to its 76-33 victory over Monmouth on November 16, Notre Dame held the Hawks without a point in the final 10:31 of the contest and outscored Monmouth 23-0 down the stretch. In fact, the Irish held the Hawks to just eight points in the second half and just 11 points overall in the final 24:52 of the contest. Notre Dame also limited Monmouth to just nine field goal attempts (all misses) in the final 8:17 of the game.
- Junior Ryan Ayers is having the best season of his career as he is shooting 46.6 percent from the field (81-174) and 46.5 percent (53-114) from three-point range. His 7.9 points per game also mark a career best. Last year, he began the season 0-12 from the field before hitting his first field goal in the sixth game of the year. Heading into this season, he owned a 38.5 career field goal percentage and 37.5 percent mark from three-point range. Ayers netted a career-high 17 points against Louisville connecting on a career-best 5-6 from three-point range. He has reached double figures in eight games.
Quietly Goes About His Business
- Perhaps no player in the Irish lineup is as steady as Rob Kurz. The senior forward is the team’s third-leading scorer (12.8) and second-leading rebounder (7.5) and has scored in double figures in all but nine contests. He has recorded eight double-doubles with a season-high 23 points and career-high 14 boards coming in wins over North Florida and Rutgers. Kurz is shooting 45.5 percent (120-264) from the field and 39.8 (37-93) from three-point range.
Zeller In Double Figures
- Luke Zeller has scored in double figures in four games this season with his most recent double-figure outing coming against DePaul on March 2 when he scored 13 points. It was the first time in double figures since matching his career-high against Colgate (14 points) on November 26. Zeller also reached double figures in the first game of the season against Long Island when he netted 12 points and against Marquette (11 points).
Zeller On The Boards
- Zeller had his best rebounding effort of his career as he registered 10 rebounds against Marquette on January 12 which marked a career-high for the Irish junior. His previous career-best had been nine rebounds on three occasions.
The ‘Peoples’ Choice
- Sophomore Jonathan Peoples scored a career-high 12 points in 11 minutes in Notre Dame’s loss at Georgetown. Prior to that his personal-best had been nine points against Seton Hall last season. Peoples was 5-6 from the field and 2-2 from three-point range in addition to grabbing four rebounds. He also had a career-high five assists in Notre Dame’s win at DePaul.
The Irish All-Time
- The 2007-08 men’s basketball campaign marks the 103rd season of basketball and 13th as a member of the BIG EAST Conference. In 103 seasons, Irish teams have posted a 1631-890 record for a .647 winning percentage. In BIG EAST play, Notre Dame owns a 115-103 (.528) record all-time in conference regular-season play.
Always In It
- Since the 2005-06 campaign, Notre Dame’s 29 losses have been by a combined 187 points for an average of 6.4 points per game. The 14 setbacks in ’05-’06 were by a total of 59 points (4.2 points). The only double-digit loss was to North Carolina State (61-47). The Irish suffered 10 BIG EAST losses during the regular season and those were by a combined 35 points (3.5).
Putting Up The Points And Winning Impressively
- Notre Dame averaged 81.0 points per game last season, the best points per game average ever under Mike Brey. Following the Marquette game, the Irish are scoring at an 80.6 clip. Notre Dame has topped 80-plus points on 16 occasions, 90-plus points seven times and the century mark once. BIG EAST Formula For Success Under Brey
- Since his arrival at Notre Dame, Mike Brey has led Notre Dame to a 80-50 (.615) record in BIG EAST regular-season games and a 3-8 mark in tournament play for an overall record of 83-58 (.589) against league foes. In Brey’s first season, the Irish posted their first-ever winning record in BIG EAST play and won the BIG EAST West Division title with an 11-5 mark. Prior to Brey’s arrival at Notre Dame, Irish teams had a 35-53 (.398) regular-season record since joining the league in 1995-96.
Keeping It Close
- In the 85 losses suffered by Irish teams in Mike Brey’s eight seasons, only 22 have been by 10 or more points and have been by a combined 586 for an average of 6.9 points per game. Notre Dame’s 26-point loss (92-66) to Marquette on January 12 was the largest ever for an Irish team under Brey, while the loss to Georgetown (84-65) was the second-largest.
301 And Counting
- Heading into the NCAA Tournament, Notre Dame has hit at least one three-pointer in 301 straight games, a mark that dates back to the 1998-99 campaign. The last time an Irish team failed to hit a three-pointer was a 101-70 loss to Connecticut at the Hartford Civic Center on Jan. 12, 1999 as Notre Dame finished 0-7 from beyond the arc in the game. The 2005-06 Irish squad set the single-season record with 288 three-pointers and fell just one field goal short of that mark (287) in 2006-07.
Home Sweet Home
- Since the inaugural season in 1968-69 at the Joyce Center, Notre Dame owns a 492-141 record all-time for a .777 winning percentage. The Irish are 107-27 (.799) at the Joyce Center during Mike Brey’s eight seasons.
- In Mike Brey’s eight seasons, his Irish teams have compiled a road record of 60-58 (.508) that includes a 40-40 (.500) in true road games and a 20-18 mark (.526) in neutral site contests.
A BIG EAST Family
- The Kurz family name is familiar name in BIG EAST circles this season. Rob Kurz’ younger sister, Laura, is a member of the Villanova women’s basketball team. She played for two years (2004-06) at Duke before tranferring to Villanova. After sitting out last season, the junior forward was a second-team all-BIG EAST selection as the Wildcats’ leading scorer (15.1 ppg.) and rebounder (6.2).