NOTRE DAME, Ind.—The Notre Dame men's hoopsters are headed to New Orleans.
Mike Brey's Irish (23-11) are coming off one of the more successful late-season runs in Notre Dame history. The Irish have won six of their last seven games heading into NCAA play (three over ranked opponents), matching a similar end-of-regular season streak from 2007 when Brey's club won its last five regular-season games, defeated Syracuse in the BIG EAST Tournament before falling to Georgetown in a BIG EAST semifinal for an identical six-out-of-seven run. Before that, you have to go back to 1988 when Digger Phelps' team had won eight of its last nine and stood 20-8 heading into the NCAAs.
Notre Dame's men's basketball team, seeded sixth in the South Region of the 2010 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship, takes on 11th-seed Old Dominion (26-8 and the Colonial Athletic Association champion) Thursday (March 18) at 11:25 a.m. CDT (12:25 p.m. EDT) in a first-round game in New Orleans, La., at the New Orleans Arena (capacity 17,188), based on NCAA pairings released tonight. If Notre Dame advances, the Irish Saturday would take on the Baylor (#3 seed at 25-7)-Sam Houston State (#14 seed at 25-7) winner in a second-round matchup.
The other games played in New Orleans feed into the East Region: top-seeded Kentucky (32-2) vs. 16th seed East Tennessee State (20-14) and eighth-seeded Texas (24-9) vs. #9 Wake Forest (19-10). The top six seeds in the South are #1 Duke (29-5), #2 Villanova (24-7), #3 Baylor (25-7), #4 Purdue (27-5), #5 Texas A&M (23-9) and #6 Notre Dame.