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North Carolina Ends Notre Dame's Season, 88-74

The Irish bow out of the NCAA Tournament one step short of the Final Four for the second straight season.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish had another second half comeback in them. Unfortunately, they needed two.

The Irish hung with the North Carolina Tar Heels for most of the Elite 8 match-up, despite the lackluster showing two weeks ago in the the ACC Tournament and UNC's torrid shooting early and often in this one. They even came back from 11 down and, following a 12-0 lightning strike of a run, briefly took a second half lead.

But it was all Heels from there, as a gassed Irish front line could not keep North Carolina off the offensive boards, and their own 12-0 response was all but enough to end Notre Dame's season following a thrill-ride of a NCAA Tournament run.

Demetrius Jackson led the Irish with one of his best games in a Notre Dame uniform, as he scored 26 points on 10 of 16 shooting. V.J. Beachem continued an impressive tournament run that should have Irish fans eager to see him step up next season, as the junior wing scored 18.

Jackson and Beachem were deservedly named to the All-East Regional team.

We will be back with plenty more coverage of not just this game but also our thoughts on Notre Dame's run to their second straight Elite 8 and much, much more.