The 14th-seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish came into Greensboro Tuesday night looking to start an improbable run in the ACC tournament against the 11th-seeded and defending champ, Virginia Tech Hokies.
Virginia Tech would open the first two possessions by converting at the line and jumping out 4-0. The Irish would open up 0-4 from the field and VT would convert from deep pushing the lead to 7-0. Wertz would get Notre Dame’s first basket just under 3 minutes in to make it 7-2. Both teams would alternate baskets with the Hokies holding an 11-7 lead after a Cormac Ryan 3 with just under 15 minutes left in the half and the first TV timeout. After alternating baskets, a Hokies turnover would lead to a basket underneath from Ryan to pull the Irish within 2, 14-12 with just under 8 minutes gone.
The Irish would go cold allowing VT to expand their lead to 9 points 21-12 with 8 and a half minutes until half. A turnover a minute later would lead to a basket underneath for the Hokies and a timeout from Notre Dame down 23-12.The Irish would convert 2 from the line but VT would respond right back. Goodwin would connect from deep to pull back within single digits 26-17. That would heat Notre Dame up as Hammond would connect from deep, followed by a tre from Zona to pull the Irish back 26-23 with 4 and a half minutes until halftime.
Matt Zona would again connect from deep to briefly knot it up 28-28 but the Hokies would again respond with a three of their own up 31-28 at the 2-minute warning.Marcus Hammond would take the first lead for the Irish with just under a minute left 32-31.
The Hokies would respond quickly to regain the lead 33-32 and that score would hold until the half.
ND: FG % 42.9 3PT: 5-12 FT% 75.0 Rebounds: 17 Assists: 5 Steals: 2
VT: FG % 41.4 3PT: 5-13 FT% 66.7 Rebounds: 17 Assists: 6 Steals: 2
Hammond would continue to build on his first-half performance, and help the Irish retake the lead 36-35 early to open the half. After alternating baskets, Notre Dame would hold their 1-point lead 5 minutes into the half 43-42.
Marcus Hammond, folks— Notre Dame Men's Basketball (@NDmbb) March 8, 2023
19 PTS | 3 REB | 1 STL
41 | 42 | 15:22 to play pic.twitter.com/q5pCPW3Lc1
After VT would complete a pair of free throws to retake the lead, both teams would go cold. Stuck at a 44-43 Hokies lead, until Ryan would convert from short with just over 12 minutes to go in the game to make it 45-44. Hammond would then extend the lead 47-44.
After some offensive fouls from the Irish, the Hokies would regain the lead 48-47. That’s before Goodwin would convert the and-one to pull Notre Dame back in front 50-48 with 10 minutes to go in the second half.
| Marcus Hammond (23) and Cormac Ryan (13) pacing the offense in a close one in Greensboro— Notre Dame Men's Basketball (@NDmbb) March 8, 2023
52 | 51 | 7:34 to play pic.twitter.com/8hJV0u1tYE
After alternating baskets, Zona would again connect from deep with 7 minutes left to extend the Irish lead to its largest of the game 55-51. After a Hokie response, Ryan would get one of his own from DEEP to make it 58-53 with 5 and a half minutes to go.
VT would convert an and-one to pull them back within 2 58-56. A back and forth from both teams the next few minutes would lead to the Hokies hitting from deep to make it 62-61 Irish, with 1:50 left. After a series of back to back to back turnovers from both teams, VT would get an easy basket underneath to regain the lead 63-62 with 52 seconds to go.
After a long review of a foul that originally looked like a Hokies defensive foul, a dead foul technical would be added on Matt Zona giving him his fifth. Wertz would convert both from the line to retake the lead 64-63. VT would convert 1 of 2 of their technical free-throws to knot it up 64-64 with 42 seconds left.The Hokies would take the lead on the next possession 66-64 with 30 seconds to go. Cormac Ryan would miss underneath and the Irish would foul with 9.8 seconds left. Pedulla would miss the first and convert the second from the line giving VT a 67-64 lead. Hammond would have his 3-point attempt rejected with 2.4 seconds left but Mutt would land out of bounds with the ball giving the Irish one last chance to tie it.
Notre Dame would inbound to Laszewski, who would shot fake and then let it fly. He was unable to connect, as the Irish fell short 67-64. The final game of Mike Brey’s Notre Dame career ends in familiar fashion as the Irish just arent able to do enough in the end to close out the game. Hopefully this is something we won’t have to see to this extent going forward. We had the celebration after the Pitt victory, now time to look to the future.
ND: FG % 42.9 3PT: 8-21 FT% 80.0 Rebounds: 30 Assists: 8 Steals: 6
VT: FG % 48.0 3PT: 7-19 FT% 63.2 Rebounds: 30 Assists: 10 Steals: 4