2015 NCAA Tournament Preview: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are one of the most improved teams in the country, and should get a top three seed after missing out on the NCAA Tournament last year.


Record – 25-5 (13-4 in ACC)

RPI – 24

Strength of Schedule – 117

Starting Lineup:

G Demetrius Jackson (So.) –12.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg

G Jerian Grant (Sr.) – 16.7 ppg, 6.6 apg

G Steve Vasturia (So.) – 9.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg

G Pat Connaughton (Sr.) – 12.8 ppg, 7.9 rpg

F Zach Auguste (Jr.) – 12.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg

Key Player:

Jerian Grant

Grant was declared academically ineligible for the second semester last season, and that was the biggest reason for the Irish’s collapse in their inaugural year in the ACC. Now that he’s back, Notre Dame is ranked No. 12 in the country. Grant he's the heart and soul of this team, leading them in points, assists, and steals while being the primary decision-maker.

Biggest Strength:


The Irish start four guards that can all shoot from long range and can space the floor, and Notre Dame is shooting over 50 percent from the floor (second in the country) as a result, including 39.2 percent from three. The good shooting has turned Notre Dame into the 12th highest scoring team in the country (78.8 points per game), and their offensive production hasn't been stopped all season.

Biggest Weakness:


Notre Dame's four-guard lineup is great for spacing the floor and creating open shots, but it leaves them with a significant lack of size that negatively effects them on the glass. The Irish rank 222nd in the country in rebounds per game (33.8), and while head coach Mike Brey doesn't mind playing that way, this weakness will ultimately be exploited by a big team in the tournament.


Teams that rely on outside shooting are always dangerous in March - both for their opponents and for your bracket. Notre Dame could get hot and make a Final Four run, but they could also go cold and but upset in the first round. However, Grant and their offensive system will carry them past a small conference team in the Round of 64, and from there, Notre Dame's success will be determined by matchups. If they face a good defensive team that's dominant on the glass, they'll fall easily.

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