March 15, 2015
The University of Notre Dame is headed to Pittsburgh for a second-round 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships matchup Thursday against Northeastern (23-11). The contest will tipoff at 12:15 pm (ET) and will be televised on CBS.
The Irish (29-5) qualified for the NCAA event for the fifth time in six seasons. This marks the seventh time in the last nine years the Irish have earned an invitation to the NCAA Championships and the 10th time during the 15-year tenure of current Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey.
Brey’s Irish are coming off their stirring Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament championship–won in Greensboro, North Carolina, by virtue of victories over #6 seed Miami Thursday night, #2 seed Duke Friday night and #5 seed North Carolina Saturday night.
The Huskies are the Colonial Athletic Association tournament champions after defeating top-seeded William & Mary 72-61 Monday in Baltimore. Northeastern and Notre Dame boast three common opponents from 2014-15: Florida State (Notre Dame won 83-63 Dec. 13 in South Bend; Northeastern won 76-73 Nov. 18 in Tallahassee in its season opener), Navy (Notre Dame won 92-53 Nov. 16 in South Bend; Northeastern won 68-44 Nov. 22 in the Hall of Fame TipOff Classic in Uncasville, Connecticut) and Massachusetts (Notre Dame won 81-68 Nov. 22 in the Hall of Fame TipOff Classic in Uncasville, Connecticut; Northeastern lost 79-54 Nov. 26 in Amherst).
The Irish own eight combined regular-season wins over these 2015 NCAA participants: #1 national seed Duke (two victories over the top-seeded Blue Devils), #4 Louisville, #4 North Carolina (two victories over the fourth-seeded Tar Heels), #7 Michigan State, #8 North Carolina State and #9 Purdue. Notre Dame also played 2015 NCAA participants Virginia (#2 seed) and Providence (#6 seed) in 2014-15. The Irish are one of six teams from the ACC to earn an NCAA invitation: #1 seed Duke, #2 Virginia, #3 Notre Dame, #4 Louisville, #4 North Carolina and #8 North Carolina State.
The Irish received a number-three seed in the Midwest Region. The top four Midwest seeds are #1 Kentucky, #2 Kansas, #3 Notre Dame and #4 Maryland. The Midwest Regional will be played March 26 and 28 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
The Notre Dame men’s basketball team takes on 14th-seeded Northeastern Thursday (March 19) in a second-round game in Pittsburgh at the Consol Energy Center (capacity 19,758), based on NCAA pairings released tonight . If Notre Dame advances, the Irish Saturday (March 21) would take on the winner of the Butler (#6 seed at 22-10)-Texas (#11 seed at 20-13) game in a third-round matchup.
The other second-round games played in Pittsburgh feed into the East Region: Top-seeded Villanova (32-2) against #16 seed Lafayette (20-12), along with eighth-seeded North Carolina State (20-13) versus ninth-seeded LSU (22-10).
The Irish previously have made nine NCAA appearances in the Brey era:
— In 2013, the seventh-seeded Irish lost a second-round game 76-58 to #10 Iowa State in Dayton, Ohio.
— In 2012, the seventh-seeded Irish lost a second-round contest 67-63 to #10 Xavier in Greensboro, North Carolina.
— In 2011, the second-seeded Irish defeated #15 Akron 69-56 in the second round, then dropped a third-round contest 71-57 to #10 seed Florida State in Chicago.
— In 2010, the sixth-seeded Irish dropped a first-round South Region game 51-50 to #11 seed Old Dominion in New Orleans.
— In 2008, the fifth-seeded Irish defeated #12 George Mason 68-50 in a first-round game in Denver, before losing a second-round contest 61-41 to #4 Washington State.
— In 2007, the sixth-seeded Irish dropped a first-round Midwest Region game in Spokane, Washington, 74-64 to 11th-seeded Winthrop.
— In 2003, the fifth-seeded Irish defeated Wisconsin-Milwaukee 70-69 in an NCAA first-round game and fourth-seeded Illinois 68-60 in a second-round matchup (both in Indianapolis) before falling 88-71 in a West Regional semifinal to top-seeded Arizona in Anaheim, California.
— In 2002, the eighth-seeded Irish men defeated Charlotte 82-63 in the first round in Greenville, South Carolina, before falling to top-seeded Duke 84-77 in the second round.
— In 2001, sixth-seeded Notre Dame defeated Xavier 83-71 in the first round in Kansas City, Missouri, before dropping a second-round game 59-56 to third-seeded Ole Miss.
Notre Dame’s men will be making their 34th NCAA appearance in school history (31-37 record). The Irish played in the NCAA Final Four 37 seasons ago in 1978 in St. Louis.
The Irish in 2015 mark their 15th postseason appearance in 16 seasons (NIT in 2000, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2009).
This marks the second year the Irish have played NCAA games in the state of Pennsylvania. The other time came in 1977 in Philadelphia, a first-round 90-83 Notre Dame victory over Hofstra.
This will be Notre Dame’s second matchup against Northeastern (the Irish won 72-45 on Nov. 25, 1997, at the Joyce Center) and its first contest played at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.
The NCAA began seeding teams in its 1979 tournament–and in those previous 18 years in which the Irish have participated, here’s how they’ve done at the various levels (12-18 overall, 6-9 under Mike Brey):
1979–2-1 as #1
1980–0-1 as #4
1981–1-1 as #2
1985–1-1 as #7
1986–0-1 as #3
1987–1-1 as #5
1988–0-1 as #10
1989–1-1 as #9
1990–0-1 as #10
2001–1-1 as #6
2002–1-1 as #8
2003–2-1 as #5
2007–0-1 as #6
2008–1-1 as #5
2010–0-1 as a #6
2011–1-1 as #2
2012–0-1 as #7
2013–0-1 as #7.
Multiple appearances have featured three times each as a #5 (4-3), a #6 (1-3) and a #7 (1-3), twice each as a #2 (2-2) and a #10 (0-2).