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Irish Links: Movin’ On Up!

All they do is win, win, win no matter what. Every time a poll comes out, everybody sees them go up.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Florida St. at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish’s winning ways have helped boost their poll standings in several sports.

The men’s basketball team eeked out a victory Sunday against the Georgia Tech Yellowjackets and consequently jumped two spots in the Associated Press poll released Monday.

The Irish (22-7) are ranked #13 in the USA Today coaches poll. They close out the regular season with games Wednesday versus the Boston College Eagles and Saturday at the Louisville Cardinals.

The Associated Press ranked the women’s basketball team as third best, after dominating performances over Boston College and the #8 Florida State Seminoles this past week.

The ladies next play at 2 p.m. Friday against either the Virginia Cavaliers or Wake Forest Demon Deacons in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament. The women beat UVA 82-74 on Jan. 29 and downed Wake, 92-72, on Jan. 5. If they prevail, the semifinal is at noon Saturday and the championship is at 1 p.m. Sunday.

The men’s lacrosse decisive victory over the Michigan Wolverines Sunday has propelled them into the No. 4 spot on the Inside Lacrosse poll, up one spot from the previous week. The Irish remain fourth in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) coaches’ poll.

Notre Dame will host the No. 1 ranked Maryland Terrapins (4-0) at Arlotta Stadium at noon Saturday. The Irish downed the Terrapins last March, 9-4, during the Pacific Coast Shootout in Costa Mesa, Calif.

The men’s hockey team split a series Friday and Saturday with the then-#6 Boston University Terriers, and jumped up one spot Monday in the United States College Hockey Organization’s top 20 poll. The Terriers , now seventh overall, became Hockey East co-champions with the 4-1 win Saturday.

Notre Dame finished fourth in Hockey East, one point out of first place. They’ll next play Friday, Saturday and, if necessary, Sunday in the Hockey East playoff quarterfinals at the Compton Family Ice Arena.

The Irish women’s lacrosse team continues its strong showing since an opening day loss to Northwestern, beating Elon and #8 Duke this past week. As a result, they’ve climbed from ninth to No. 7 in the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association poll. The Blue Devils have taken the Irish’s old spot at No. 9.

The Irish next play #20 Louisville (5-1) at 3 p.m. Saturday at Arlotta Stadium. The Irish and Cardinals each one a game last year, with the Irish prevailing in the opening round of the ACC championship, 12-10.

ZAIRE MAY HAVE TWO YEARS LEFT

Duke’s Thomas Sirk will use his final year of eligibility at another school, which makes him a “free agent” along with former Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Malik Zaire. This article suggested something I had not previously contemplated: Zaire could appeal to the NCAA to give him a sixth year because he missed all but the first two games of the 2015 season with a broken ankle. Could a future partner get two years out of the Irish’s former starting QB? That’s a question that cannot be answered until next year.

PRO DAY SCHEDULED

Notre Dame will hold its Pro Day at 11 a.m. March 23, according to NFL.com. The list of attendees has not been announced. I’m personally looking forward to a certain segment of our fanbase getting their knickers in a twist because Brian Kelly had the audacity to welcome back a prodigal son. (DaVonté Neal, anyone?)

BIAGI BYE BYE

I missed this when it happened in January, and figured my fellow readers may have too: Marty Biagi was, until recently, Notre Dame’s special teams analyst. Biagi is now special teams coach for the North Texas Mean Green.

Denton is now also home to wide receiver Jalen Guyton, who spent one year at Trinity Valley Community College, Athens, Texas, after leaving Notre Dame in 2016. Guyton caught 45 passes for 968 yards and scored 12 touchdowns for the Cardinals last season.

KIZER SIGNS WITH ATHLETES FIRST

Athletes First, a California based agency which boasts two Notre Dame graduates among its leadership, will represent former Irish quarterback DeShone Kizer during his NFL contract negotiation. The firm already represents Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller and former Irish player and current Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith. They have also been retained by former Clemson Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson.

POPE AT A CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY?

K’Vaughn Pope, a four-star athlete from Dinwidde (Va.) County, received an offer Sunday from the Irish, according to multiple reports. Pope also holds offers from the Alabama Crimson Tide, Clemson Tigers and Ohio State Buckeyes, among others.

UNI WATCH: NOTRE DAME EDITION

THIS MADE ME LAUGH