NCAA Tournament: Notre Dame survives late push from Princeton

"He's sore", coach Mike Brey said.

The three losses are the most the Irish have had entering the NCAA Tournament since they started a run of six straight top seeds with three losses during the 2011-12 season.

"I grew up a Notre Dame fan", Jake Whitfield, a former teammate of Cannady said.

Notre Dame improved to 26-9 and advanced to the second round, where it will play either No. 4 West Virginia or No 13 Bucknell.

"We worked the nation up", Brey said with a smile as he exited his post-game news conference. "So I think for us we have to take it one game at a time, which is what we preach every year", Allen said. "That shouldn't happen, the law of averages", Brey said. And I think in this tournament, this nucleus of guys, just feel like as this thing was getting close, well, that's what we did all past year. Getting to back-to-back Elite Eights is something really special, but we want to make that next step.

"They looked just like my freshman did four years ago", Henderson said after the game.

"This feels like beating MI, we've got guys that beat Northeastern", Brey said. They don't really put anybody on the floor that doesn't have a ton of experience.

With 8:35 left in the game, Cannady nailed a three in the corner and was fouled by Farrell. Cannady heaved up a 3 from behind the National Basketball Association 3-point line, and Vasturia came down with the rebound to secure a 60-58 Notre Dame victory. Just tape the thing up, Colson said, and let's go play ball. They have shown their character when their backs were against the wall against Pennsylvania. It was a low-scoring affair that featured all the hallmarks of entertaining basketball: missed free throws, little to no fast break points and beaucoup missed shots. "We got to advance and play again".

The First Round of March Madness 2017 gets underway on Thursday with Princeton Tigers vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

In the end, after another miss at the line when point guard Matt Farrell missed the front end of a one-and-one, Notre Dame had to watch Devin Cannady - a sophomore who grew up in IN, just around the corner from Notre Dame's campus - heave an open three-pointer from the left wing that would have knocked it out. Cook led the way with 15 points, Weisz had 11 and Stephens had 10 for the Tigers. The Wildcats boast senior shooting guard Josh Hart (18.9 points per game, 6.5 rebounds per game), sophomore point guard Jalen Brunson (14.8 points per game, 4.2 assists per game) and senior small forward Kris Jenkins (13.4 points per game) who beat North Carolina for the title last season with his buzzer-beating 3-pointer.

The Notre Dame-Princeton victor faces the victor of West Virginia-Bucknell in the second round on Saturday. The Tigers missed two threes in the final 20 seconds, a wide open look by Steven Cook that would've tied the game with 19 seconds left and a long open trey by Devin Cannady that would've given the Tigers the victory with less than a second remaining. Vasturia pulled down the rebound, hit a free throw and Notre Dame escaped. They had big shots, but we stayed composed. "I think it's gotten to be a little bit of the tradition of the program where it's handed down to the younger guys and they're dragged along by the older guys that have been part of it".

  • Angelo Rivera