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Irish Insights


Irish ready to start tourney run

Notre Dame will be tipping off play in the NCAA tournament against Old Dominion in New Orleans shortly.

The Irish's game against the Monarchs (26-8) is the second game to open the tournament by about five minutes. Notre Dame (23-11) will start its game at 12:25 p.m., while BYU and Florida tip off the tournament at 12:20 p.m.

Old Dominion is the Colonial Athletic Association regular-season and conference tournament champion, and the Monarchs have a familiar look to the Irish.

"They are a great team, they are like West Virginia without De'Sean Butler," Irish forward Tyrone Nash said.

Notre Dame starts the tournament has one of the hottest teams in the country.

The Irish went 6-1 in their last seven games, and they were rewarded with the sixth seed in the South Regional.

Notre Dame's last game was last Friday, when the Irish fell to West Virginia in the Big East tournament semifinals.

The time off between games is being looked at like a good thing by the players.

"It was nice to get a couple days of rest," Irish forward Tim Abromaitis said. "I think everybody on the team is still in the mode of being really hungry and really excited to play again. I don't think we lost anything by having a few days off."

Notre Dame will continue to play its slow style, which Old Dominion will likely be fine with playing today.

The game shouldn't have a big final score, but the Irish will be on the winning end of it this afternoon.

Prediction: Notre Dame 58, Old Dominion 52

The winner will play either Baylor or Sam Houston State on Saturday in the second round.

I would guess Notre Dame will be playing Baylor, and the Bears will try to force the Irish into a running game in that matchup.