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This is your newest contributor to OFD, just in time for ACC action!

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament-Notre Dame vs North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Hello fellow domers! My name is Ryan, your newest writer for this awesome blog. My agent and I were able to work out a lucrative multi-year contract with the higher-ups at One Foot Down, and now that the negotiating is over, it is time to get to work.

Like many of you, I have bled Notre Dame gold and blue since childhood. My grandather, raised by an Irish Catholic family, turned me on to the mystique and aura that comes from South Bend, and I instantly fell in love with the Irish on the gridiron and the hardwood.

My primary focus here will be on the basketball team, who is entering conference play in the always dangerous ACC. I know basketball will always be the little brother to football at Notre Dame, but what coach Mike Brey has been able to do with this program has been spectacular, especially in the recent years that have led to consecutive Elite Eight appearances and an ACC title.

My first memories of Notre Dame basketball are back when Brey came oh-so close to bouncing his former boss Mike Krzyzewski and the mighty Duke Blue Devils from the 2002 NCAA Tournament. That Irish team led by Chris Thomas (I actually found his jersey at a flea market last month for 10 bucks. Score!) and Ryan Humphrey showed a toughness that was easy to root for, but Duke stars such as Jason Williams, Chris Duhon and Carlos Boozer were too much to handle.

Of course, it is safe to assume that Brey has had his share of revenge on Duke, boasting a 5-1 record against the Blue Devils over the past three years, including two straight wins against them in the ACC tournament. My fondest times as a Notre Dame basketball fan were during the 2015 ACC Tournament, since I was going to school in North Carolina at the time and watched Tobacco Road collapse in defeat as the Irish ran through Duke and UNC to the conference crown. Being at the Greensboro Coliseum for that ACC Tournament was an experience I’ll never forget.

Enough of traveling down memory lane, now we can look ahead. I will be providing you with thoughts and analysis on the week’s events surrounding Notre Dame basketball, and previewing what is to come for the team. I am excited to get started, and look forward to talking everything Notre Dame with the OFD community! Let’s hope a third straight successful tournament run is in the cards for this squad!

Twitter handle: @ryanchichester1