With a win over Florida State, Notre Dame basketball becomes of the ACC’s favorites for a regular season conference title.
There are five games left on Notre Dame’s regular season schedule. Out of those five, the Irish have a serious chance of winning each of them. Why? Because it may have taken 26 games, but they’ve finally found their stride to success.
Small ball is the way of the road for Notre Dame. If the Irish want to win, they need to continue playing through their backcourt, which they will. Temple Gibbs and Rex Pflueger have earned their way into the starting lineup. Whether Gibbs continues to be in the first five or not will be up to Mike Brey, but either one of these two automatically makes the Irish a better team.
The Irish are a game and a half back from North Carolina and the conference lead. The chances of the Tar Heels going undefeated during their last six games, though, is pretty unlikely. Having to play Duke, Virginia twice, and Louisville are a tough stretch of games to end the year.
Duke still needs to play Florida State, Virginia, and UNC. Louisville has the Tar Heels and Irish remaining, Virginia plays Duke and North Carolina twice, and FSU plays Duke. Only needing one loss from all but the Tar Heels, Notre Dame is in good shape heading into the final stretch.
Notre Dame has one ranked team remaining. They have already beaten Louisville once this season. The Cardinals are 4-5 against top 25 teams and will have to play North Carolina and Syracuse twice beforehand. When Notre Dame comes to town, Louisville will be a serious underdog against the Irish.
With their new found confidence, Notre Dame is now one of the best teams in the country. Even when they were winning, they seemed to be out of the place. Their problem was playing with four players on the court when Martinas Geben was playing. Now that the Irish have found their identity, they’re more dangerous than ever.
Somehow, Notre Dame has turned a four-game winning streak into a shot at a regular season ACC title. It may have taken some downhill run, but the Irish are now stronger than they’ve been all year. On top of that, they’ve somehow managed to have the best shot at a conference title.
It’s crazy to think that this team is where they are. No one believed they had a shot coming into the season. Then, after a 9-0 start, they were considered one of the best teams in the country. But after some up and down games and a four-game losing streak, the Irish became almost irrelevant.
Well, now they’re right back in the mix. Somehow, this rollercoaster season is turning into one of Notre Dame’s best regular seasons in years. How? No one seems to know. This team has hung around with everything they’ve got, and it’s finally paying off.
Don’t take them for granted. Notre Dame has found themselves, and with one tough ACC game left on their schedule, they’re a favorite for the conference title.