Not great, Bob.
That one was rough. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s basketball team took on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in Winston-Salem today. The Irish got a close win on the road on Wednesday against BC, so they were riding a bit of momentum. However, the Irish ran into a freight train of some offensive production from Wake Forest. They could not get the job done today and were outshot. They lost to Wake 84-73. Let’s look at how this one shook out.
Sorrry to everyone if my memory from the first half is a bit muddled. I had to find the feed of the game which STARTED LATE because of BRILLIANT production from ACC Network Extra and Fox Sports wherever. Then, I got back to the live feed, but I missed the whole time from the first half under-16 to the under-12 time outs. Regardless, it was a relatively back and forth game through the first 10 minutes, with Wake getting a bit of the upper hand. Then, it was pretty much chaos for the Irish. Wake Forest, specifically Olivier Sarr, started to go off on points. It seemed like Wake could not miss. They went up by 16 points in the first half. They shot 53% from the field, so they were pretty much lights out.
With under 4 minutes to play in the half, the Demon Deacons went up 39-23 in an offensive explosion. The Irish cut the lead a bit, but still went into the lockerroom down 41-30. The Irish were in a similar situation against BC, so I wasn’t too, too panicked. Plus, John Mutton Mooney got a first half double-double, giving him 24 double-doubles on the season (that is the most in all of college basketball).
In the second half, it looked the Irish would claw back to get the job done. They started off in some pretty pressing defense that caused Wake to miss some shots. Meanwhile, Mooney, Gibbs, and Hubb all were hitting some good shots to get the Irish back within 6 points, 45-39 with about 15 minutes left in the game. After some more back and forth, the Irish actually erased the 16-point deficit from the first half to take the lead. They went back in forth on shots and FTs made/missed with Wake Forest. Exchanging 1 or 2 point leads was happening quite a bit down the stretch of the second half. Unfortunately, the Demon Deacons went down 61-60, and then they rattled off 7 straight to get their lead up to 66-61. From there, they didn’t really look back. They never gave up the lead after that run, continuing to hit shots while also seeing the Irish go pretty cold to end the game as they threw up despiration shots. Final score ended up 84-73.
Recapping Within A Recap (Recap-ception)
The Irish just ran into Olivier Sarr having a game of 30 points and 17 rebounds. The dude was a freak. There were some solid performances from Mooney and also Nate Laszewski who reached double digits in points. However, through missed FTs and the Demon Deacons being very good offensively (shooting nearly 47% for the game), the Irish just couldn’t get it done and were overwhelmed. It is very disappointing and frustrating considering the Irish were about to take the sole #5 position in the ACC standings and Wake Forest is farther down in the standings (especially with a 12-15 record). I guess they were still riding high and on a bit of a hot streak with beating Duke at home on Wednesday. It is also frustrating because the Irish have zero options now for making the NCAA Tournament (barring them winning the ACC Tournament, but that seems highly unlikely). NIT here we come.
The Irish play Florida State at home this coming Wednesday. FSU just lost to Clemson, so a win for the Irish today would’ve made the next game VERY interesting for overall ACC play, especially with FSU being in the Top 10. Now, FSU will drop out of the Top 10 and the Irish will not look to continue riding momentum into the NCAA Tournament. There is still a chance for the Irish to be all about causing chaos, which I am always a fan of. This one was just very, very tough.