The Notre Dame Fighting Irish came to the suburbs of Chicago with what appeared to be an easy win against the DePaul Blue Demons ahead of them, since DePaul has had just six wins in the Big East Conference since joining. The Fighting Irish though were caught looking ahead, but escaped with a 79-71 overtime win. If Notre Dame wants to finish solidly and get a bye in the Big East tournament, they can’t allow a game like this to happen again.
Jack Cooley appeared to get hurt in the second half as well and if Cooley would have got hurt seriously, the chances for the Irish of doing something in the postseason would have went down in a big way. There is no way that there should have even a game as Notre Dame came in with a 17-4 record, and DePaul was just 10-10 and only 1-6 in the Big East. Another major problem for Notre Dame was their free-throw shooting, making only 21 of 33 shots. Those are the type of things that indicate early exit from the NCAA Tournament in March.
I really hope Mike Brey gets in his team’s head between now and the team’s next game on Monday against the Syracuse Orange. It was obvious that the Irish looked past this game and straight at a Syrcause team that is struggling right now. Brey definitely has a lot of coaching to do over the next 48 hours in order to avoid a lackluster performance like this from happening again. Notre Dame has underachieved greatly in the postseason in recent years, and it looks like they could be heading down the same path again.