Eilte Eight 1954.
The 1952-1953 Fighting Irish featured names like Dick Rosenthal, Norb Lewinski, Joe Bertrand and Jack Stephens. The Irish would lose only twice in the regular season that year, once to top-ranked Indiana in an Elite Eight rematch from the year prior and once to Bradley. Following the December loss to Bradley, the Irish won 16 straight, including wins over sixth-ranked Holy Crass and 20th-ranked Navy.
When it came to tournament time, the Irish found themselves opposite Loyola (LA) in the first round. Behind 31 points from Dick Rosenthal, the Irish would prevail 80-70, moving on to face Indiana in a rematch of the early-season loss at the hands of the Hoosiers, not to mention the previous year’s Elite Eight matchup. This time, it would be the Irish with the upper hand. Again Dick Rosenthal led the team with 25 points, and the Irish came away with a one-point victory, avenging both the early season loss and the tournament loss to Indiana in 1953.
The Irish, however, would come up short again in the Elite Eight, falling to Penn State in a 71-63 game. That loss, however, did not signify the end of the success the Irish would go on to see in the 50s.
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