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Irish Insights

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Notre Dame's season ends

Notre Dame's season ended with the team at less than full strength.

The second-seeded Irish lost 71-57 to 10th-seeded Florida State on Sunday in the third round of the NCAA tournament with one starter struggling to get through most of the game.

Notre Dame forward Scott Martin said he injured his back after taking a charge in the game's opening minutes, and the senior was never the same the rest of the game.

"It's a contusion or something, I don't even know what they said," said Martin, who missed a 102-62 victory over Chicago State on Nov. 17 because of back spasms.

"I tried. I did every thing I could do. They shot me up. I was hurting us more than I was helping us. It wasn't smart for me to be out there."

Martin went 0 for 4 in just 17 minutes against Florida State. He went to the locker room twice during the first half to get his back worked on.

"It's one part to this machine, and when it goes down it affects the whole machine," forward Tyrone Nash said of Martin's injury. "You saw the affects of what happen. He's played great all year."

Notre Dame (27-7) didn't play its greatest game at the wrong time against Florida State (23-10).

The Irish were just 19 of 62 from the floor, and they only hit 7 of 20 three-pointers. It was the seventh time in seven losses that Notre Dame shot below 33 percent from three-point range this season.

The loss also added to a legacy of early NCAA tournament exits for the Irish.

In 11 seasons under coach Mike Brey, Notre Dame has only advanced to the Sweet 16 once (2003), and Brey is 1-4 in Round of 32 games.

Notre Dame did make some good history this season.

The 27 victories were the most since the 1908-09 team won 33 games. The Irish were a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1981, and their 14 Big East victory matched the program's most in league play.

"I would say in time we will be able to reflect on the big picture of things," coach Mike Brey said. "We are really disappointed in not getting further. I think in time we will be able to reflect on what this group did for our program. It was kind of uncharted territory for our program for five months."

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