V.J. Beachem

Spot In Sweet 16 Up For Grabs On Sunday

March 19, 2016

Notes Package Get Acrobat Reader | Irish NCAA Tournament Central

The University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team earned a spot in the second round of the NCAA Championship with a 70-63 victory over #11 Michigan on Thursday, March 18. The Irish will face #14 Stephen F. Austin, who is coming off a 70-56 upset victory over #3 West Virginia, on Sunday, March 20 at approximately 2:40 p.m. ET on CBS.

DATE/TIME: Sunday, March 20, 2:40 p.m. (approx)
VENUE: Barclays Center (Capacity: 17,732)
CITY: Brooklyn, N.Y.
TELEVISION: CBS. Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Jim Spanarkel (analyst), Allie LaForce (sidelines)
NOTRE DAME RADIO NETWORK : Check Affiliates (page 8 of full notes package). Jack Nolan (play-by-play). Torrian Jones (analyst)
WESTWOOD ONE NATIONAL RADIO: Chris Carinno (play-by-play)
Kelly Tripucka (analyst). Available on Sirius Channel 81 and XM Channel 201


.700 – Shooting percentage in NCAA tournament play (35-50) for senior forward Zach Auguste after going 4-5 from the field vs. Michigan on Thursday.

1.000 – Shooting percentage from the floor (7-7) for junior forward V.J. Beachem vs. Michigan. He also his all four three point field goals he attempted – the ninth time this season Beachem has hit four or more three pointers.

8 – NCAA tournament appearances for the Irish over the last 10 years.

11 – Three point field goals in post season play for V.J. Beachem. He is shooting .647 (11-17) from behind the arc in Notre Dame’s last three games.

11.9 – Rebounds per game average over the past 17 games for senior forward Zach Auguste. Over that same stretch, Auguste failed to grab 10 or more rebounds only three times and never less than eight in a game.

14 – Three pointers made off the bench for freshman Matt Ryan in the last eight games. He is 14-29 (.482) from behind the arc during that same stretch.

18 – Points scored by V.J. Beachem vs. Michigan in the NCAA first round on Thursday. In four NCAA games last season, Beachem only scored four total points. He also played 35 minutes vs. the Wolverines, surpassing his 19 combined minutes played in NCAA action last year. (for more on Beachem in the post season, see page 2).

20 – Double-Doubles (points, rebounds) compiled by Zach Auguste this season – the most recent a 12-rebound, 10-point effort vs. Michigan on Thursday.

22 – Points scored by Irish head coach Mike Brey vs. Stephen F. Austin on Jan. 27, 1979, a career-high for Brey’s collegiate playing career (see side bar page 2 for more information).

35 – Notre Dame is making its 35th appearance in the NCAA tournament, tied for eighth-most all-time.

54 – Program-record wins over a two-year span for the Irish. Notre Dame was 32-6 in 2014-15 and are 22-11 this season.

117.7 – Notre Dame’s adjust offensive efficiency rating as compiled by Ken Pom.com – the 11th-best in the nation.

1,187 – Wins in Notre Dame men’s basketball history, ranked eighth all-time. Since Mike Brey took over the Irish program in 2000-01, the Irish have moved from 12th to 8th on the all-time wins list.

2015 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP, SECOND ROUND: Sixth-seeded Notre Dame earned a spot in the second round of the NCAA Championship with a 70-63 victory over #11 Michigan on Thursday, March 18. The Irish will face #14 Stephen F. Austin, who is coming off a 70-56 upset victory over #3 West Virginia.

This is the 35th overall appearance by Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament and 17th since the field expanded to 64 in 1985. The spot is also the 11th earned in the Mike Brey era (start of the 2001 season) and eighth in the last 10 years. The Irish are coming off a historic run to the Elite Eight in last season’s tournament, knocking off #14 Northeastern, #6 Butler and #7 Wichita State before falling to #1 seed Kentucky by two points just one game away from the Final Four.

Historically, the Irish are 35-38 in NCAA Competition since participating in the tournament for the first time in 1953 and are 10-10 under Mike Brey. As a sixth-seeded team, the Irish are 2-3 in the tournament, with victories over Xavier in 2001 and Michigan on Thursday, with losses to #3 Mississippi in 2001, #11 Winthrop in 2007 and #11 Old Dominion in 2010.


It was a forgettable post season for junior V.J. Beachem last year. While the Irish team pushed toward the ACC Championship and eventual Elite Eight run in the NCAA Championship, Beachem’s minutes and production dropped. Then a sophomore, Beachem scored just 14 points combined in the ACC and NCAA Championships.

But if this season’s ACC Championship and first round NCAA efforts are any indication, Beachem is focused on putting last season’s slow March behind him.

In the ACC Quarterfinals vs. Duke on March 10, Beachem tied for the team lead with 19 points, going 7-12 from the field with four three point field goals and matching his career high in minutes played (38).

His three pointer at 2:35 left in regulation gave the Irish their first lead of the game since the early minutes, he then followed up with a three pointer during Notre Dame’s second possession of overtime to put the Irish head to stay.

In the ACC semifinal loss to North Carolina, Beachem continued his hot shooting with 11 points, going 3-6 from behind the arc.

Against Michigan in the NCAA first round game Thursday, Beachem was 7-7 from the field with four three point field goals for 18 points. His penchant for clutch three pointers continued as well, with a three-point field goal to give the Irish a 62-59 lead with 3:43 remaining – a lead the team would hold onto for the victory.

Entering NCAA tournament second round action, Beachem is 16-28 (.571) from behind the three point line in Notre Dame’s last six games.


Notre Dame has never faced Stephen F. Austin in NCAA basketball compeition, but Irish head coach Mike Brey has. In his playing career at Northwestern State (La.), Brey had his career-best scoring effort vs. the Lumberjacks on Jan. 27, 1979.

Leading the Demons with 22 points, Brey helped Northwestern State to a 63-60 victory over their Southland Conference rivals in Nacogdoches, Texas.

Brey played three years for the Demons, leading the team in assists and steals all three years before transferring to George Washington after the 1979-80 season for his final year of eligibility, which he played in 1981-82.

In 2013, Northwestern State named Brey to its `Fab 50′ as one of its top players in the first 100 years of basketball at the school.