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What We Learned: Notre Dame VS North Carolina

The Irish fought hard but came up a point short against the Tar Heels.

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish couldn’t quite pull off the upset. They were a point short, losing 69-68 to the North Carolina Tar Heels. It ended up being a great basketball game. There were many lead changes and momentum swings for both teams. The Irish were shorthanded again as Bonzie Colson and Matt Farrell were both sidelined. Even in a loss, we learned a lot about this Notre Dame basketball team.

Irish have “It”

Mike Brey is proving his worth with the slew of injuries Notre Dame has had. The players they are putting out on the court are not some of the best players Mike Brey has ever had. But what they do have is something you cannot teach. The way this team makes key shots and battles on the boards is nothing less than amazing. The Irish had 19 offensive rebounds against UNC. How? I have no idea. But this team has “it.”

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Home Court Proves Worthy

Even without Colson and Farrell, I can confidently say that Notre Dame can still compete with the whole ACC (okay, maybe not Duke) at the Joyce Center. This team feeds off the home energy. Notre Dame still has 6 home games left in ACC play. I would be surprised if they were finished these games any worse than 4-2. Yes, Notre Dame is missing its best player in Bonzie Colson, but the home court advantage they have is still alive and well.

Blessing In Disguise?

You obviously never want your two best players to get injured as conference play is starting. With that being said, the role players are now able to develop at a rapid clip. Notre Dame got so many key contributions from players who were never supposed to be counted on this much. TJ Gibbs is growing up before our eyes. DJ Harvey is getting more chances to be a scorer. Nikola Djogo is making clutch 3’s at the end of games. This list goes on. The roles players are improving and that could prove very valuable once this team gets healthy.

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame will play next against Louisville on Tuesday at home. This game almost feels like a turning point in the season. A win would put the Irish at 4-2 in the ACC. A loss would put them at 3-3 and in free fall mode. Lookout Irish fans, there is a big basketball game coming up this week.