The Notre Dame basketball team gave Irish fans something to finally smile about on Tuesday, as they took down the Northwestern Wildcats 70-66 in the championship game of the Legends Classic. Notre Dame continues to ride the magic that comes with playing in Brooklyn. Dating back to March of 2016 the Irish are 4-0 in the Barclays Center, with thrilling wins over Michigan, Stephen F. Austin, and now Northwestern. Notre Dame is 5-1 all-time in the Barclays Center.
Things looked bleak for the Irish in the game’s final seconds as they trailed by a point and Northwestern had possession. A blunder on an inbounds pass by Northwestern’s Nathan Taphorn gave Notre Dame hope and the ball back with 18 seconds left, which set up junior guard Matt Farrell for some heroics. (Jack Nolan’s call is spectacular by the way.)
The and-1 layup gave the for the Irish for good. Northwestern would have a chance to tie it, but Farrell came up big once again as he locked up Northwestern’s Bryant McIntosh to force a poor shot. Farrell would get fouled after grabbing the rebound. He knocked down both free throws to seal the win for the Irish.
Farrell was named the tournament’s MVP after posting 20 and 18 point games in Notre Dame’s two victories in Brooklyn.
Farrell has really blossomed since earning a starting role in the NCAA Tournament last season. This kid has some guts and it showed Tuesday night with the game winning basket. Notre Dame is chalk full of leaders with guys like V.J. Beachem, Steve Vasturia, and Bonzie Colson, but they may have found another one in Farrell. If Notre Dame fans don’t love this kid already, the surely will as we’re going to see more and more of him as the season goes on.
For the second night in a row my pick to click came through. Vasturia had 18 points, a career best eight rebounds, three assists, and three steals. In the win Vasturia also became the 61st player in program history to score 1,000 points.
Beachem had an off night for his standards. The senior forward only had 11 points on 3-11 shooting. Colson, on the other hand, posted his second consecutive double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. To check out the full highlights of tonight’s thrilling victory click here.
With the win the Irish are off to their first 5-0 start since 2010 when they started 8-0. The Legends Classic Championship is also Notre Dames’s first in-season tournament championship since that same year. Notre Dame will return to action on Saturday night as they play host to Chicago State. Tipoff is set for 7:00pm ET, so right as the Notre Dame football team gets done disappointing you on Saturday, you can flip on the Irish hoops for a little pick me up.