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Notre Dame Women’s Basketball: Fighting Irish Finish Out Regular Season

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An average record in a not so average season

NCAA Womens Basketball: Michigan at Notre Dame South Bend Tribune-USA TODAY NETWORK

They made it through a regular season.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish Women’s Basketball team have officially finished a 2020-2021 regular season. It was only 19 games, but they remarkably completed the season. Unfortunately, it was not the most memorable season. But, there were some strong points during the year, but some lower points too.

The Irish finished the season 10-9 and 8-7 in ACC play. These decidedly average records do depict the decidedly average season they had. With newer players still making headway (Sam Brunelle, Anaya Peoples, and Olivia Miles) and only 3 seniors, the Irish saw some good strides, but nothing earth shattering. They still could not hang with a current force in conference, Louisville, losing twice to the Cardinals (and Louisville took home the ACC regular season title). The Irish did not get a chance to play NC State, the other main force in the ACC. That was due to Covid issues with the Fighting Irish.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Notre Dame at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Niele Ivey and her staff, in my opinion, did a pretty good job handling everything with the schedule. The way the team was projecting, it looked like this is how the season would’ve gone even in a normal year. Niele is working out some things as a new head coach. The players she has now will be able to set a good foundation for the future - we are just in a transitonary time in the program. To see how each player did up through their penultimate game, check out the season stats.

Rest of the Season

The Irish sit in a unique position we don’t normally see - on the NCAA Tournament bubble. The most recent bracketology puts the Irish as a 12 seed and as one of the last four teams into the tournament along with fellow ACC member, North Carolina. The Irish lost to UNC this season. With the 8-7 conference record, the Irish still are in the upper half of the conference standings; they find themselves with the #6 seed in the ACC Tournament that begins this week.

They will play their one, guaranteed game in Greensboro, NC this coming Thursday, March 4. Being the #6 seed, they will play the #11 seed Clemson at 8:30 PM. There are only 13 teams competing in the ACC Tournament this year because both Duke and UVA opted out of the rest of the season back in December. If the Irish are to get off the bubble and into the big tournament, they must win at least one game in the ACC Tournament, and maybe even two.