Winning 20 games in the Atlantic Coast Conference is usually enough to earn a spot in the NCAA tournament, but the Notre Dame men’s basketball team are firmly on the bubble due to their lack of impressive wins. The Fighting Irish finally added a big win to their resume when they defeated the Virginia Tech Hokies in the second round of the ACC tournament on Wednesday, March 7.
Notre Dame and Virginia Tech looked like they were two evenly matched teams during the first 12 minutes of the first half, but the Fighting Irish went completely cold on offense late in the half. Notre Dame’s lack of scoring allowed the Hokies to grab a 13-point lead before the halftime buzzer.
Virginia Tech continued to dominate the game early in the second half. After going down by more than 20 points, Notre Dame started playing with some intensity and passion. An impressive scoring run gave the Fighting Irish the lead with two minutes left to play. The hot shooting only continued after they took the lead as Notre Dame went on to defeat Virginia Tech 71-65.
Despite the big win over the Hokies, Notre Dame still needs to do more work to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The Fighting Irish are set to play the Duke Blue Devils on Thursday, March 8, in the third round of the ACC tournament. A win over the 5th ranked team in the country should be enough to let the Fighting Irish play for a national championship later this month.