The 2017 NCAA Tournament bracket has been announced, and Notre Dame is the fifth seed in the West Region. There, they have been given a first round matchup with 12th-seeded Princeton Tigers out of the Ivy League, who are 23--6 on the year.
The Tigers have just one win over other NCAA tournament teams, having beaten Bucknell 72-70 in December. However, coach Mitch Henderson’s team has won 19 games in a row and went undefeated in Ivy League play.
They’re led by a big four of their own in terms of scoring, including sophomore guard Devin Cannady (13.7 ppg, Demetrius Jackson’s former high school teammate), senior forward Steven Cook (13.7 ppg), sophomore guard Myles Stephens (12.2 ppg), and senior forward Spencer Weisz (10.5 ppg). Their balanced scoring attack should provide Notre Dame with a strong challenge in their tourney opener in Buffalo, N.Y.
The West Region’s other big names include the top-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs, 2-seed Arizona Wildcats, 3-seed Florida State Seminoles, and 4-seed West Virginia Mountaineers. If the Irish take care of business against Princeton, they’ll see the winner of West Virginia and Bucknell in the second round, and a victory there will likely earn them a date with Gonzaga in the Sweet Sixteen, with all roads to the Final Four very possibly heading through Arizona and star freshman Lauri Markkanen.
The Irish will play their first round game against Princeton on Thursday. The tip-off times have not yet been released, but we will be sure to update you once they are. In the meantime, be sure to join the official One Foot Down NCAA Bracket Pool below so you can compete with all your fellow Irish fans in picking the best bracket!