Notre Dame basketball has one thing to worry about before the ACC Tournament and it’s not Boston College.
The Fighting Irish can take down everyone on their schedule (Boston College, NC State, Georgia Tech, Boston College) except Louisville. That isn’t saying they won’t beat the Cardinals because they most likely will. It’s saying that their mind should be on teams they’ll have trouble against.
Throughout a season, no player, coach, analyst, fan, or staff member will say that a team is looking further than the next game. That’s true when there are 25 games left in a season. When there’s five, it’s time to start focusing on how high you can seed at the next stage of the season.
That stage is the ACC tournament. Notre Dame is a favorite, if not the favorite, for the top seed in the conference tournament. With every team ahead of them playing at least one ranked team in their last stretch of game, most playing more than one, Notre Dame may have the easiest road.
It’s time for the Irish to start focusing on the path ahead as a whole and not each game at a time. Boston College isn’t a challenge. With Notre Dame’s newfound game plan, the Irish can beat any team in the country. These teams who are under .500 in the conference don’t have any threat to a team near the top.
These games should be used to perfect their new lineups. Give Rex Pflueger and Temple Gibbs the chance to establish themselves with the other four starters. If Matt Farrell can get them more involved in the offense, the Irish finally find themselves with a full lineup on both ends of the floor.
Notre Dame’s mindset should be beat Georgia Tech, which they’ll be able to do and move on to Louisville. The rest of their schedule should be easy games. There isn’t any more time to fine tune their lineup. With this last go, the Irish need to make sure everything is perfect. Fortunately, they have four games before another challenge.
There’s no more time to think small. Louisville is first on their list. But after that, Notre Dame’s mindset should be ACC Tournament.
They have it all together. It may have taken all but seven games, but the Irish found their key to success. With one tough game left, Notre Dame needs to get hyped about the big picture. That means Louisville, ACC Tournament, and after. Anything beforehand is nothing more than preparation.