There’s no question that confidence is running high for the Notre Dame basketball team as the ACC tournament nears, with the Fighting Irish sporting an impressive 26-5 record (14-4 conference) on the year entering the postseason. This terrific campaign is all the more valuable for the club, considering they missed out on a berth in the NCAA Tournament a year ago for the first time since 2009. Not only will they return this year, but they’ll do it in style with a probable high seed.
Before the official March Madness begins, though, Notre Dame will be tasked with the ACC tournament, set to begin on March 12. Certainly, they’re considered one of the favorites given their success within ACC play this season, including owning a win over Duke, one of the only two teams that sit above them in the conference standings.
Of course, tickets for the upcoming tournament will be at a premium, especially for those Notre Dame fans hungry after last year’s disappointing campaign. According to TiqIQ, the average ticket price for March 12th quarterfinals is $175.99 with a walk-in price of $42. Their performance in the ACC tournament could ultimately determine where they fall in the NCAA Tournament rankings come Selection Sunday.
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If Notre Dame is to make a strong push, it may be dependent on how their two top seniors fare in their final showings before finishing up at school. Senior Jerian Grant has enjoyed an outstanding season pacing the Irish, averaging 16.8 points and 6.7 assists per game, leading the team in both categories by a decisive margin. Fellow senior Pat Connaughton is right behind him with 12.6 points/game, while topping all of his Fighting Irish teammates in boards with 7.8 rebounds a night.
It’s not just those two players, however, as one of the reasons for Notre Dame’s resurgence in the 2014-15 campaign is the fact that they’ve been propelled by a pretty balanced roster, getting contributions from their underclassmen as well. For instance, sophomore guard Demetrius Jackson is averaging 12.5 points a night, while also being second on the team in steals and three-point percentage. Furthermore, junior center Zach Auguste is chipping in with 12.5 points and 5.9 rebounds, which places him second in that category.