If you could have scripted a game to describe how Notre Dame‘s season has gone, it would be the one tonight in a loss on the road at Miami — coming in with high expectations, being stunned and disappointed like when they lost Jerian Grant for the season, showing tremendous heart but coming up just short yet again.
It has been a difficult season for the Fighting Irish, and Wednesday was no better, falling to a Miami team that hadn’t won an ACC game at home all season.
If there is one thing the Irish can take away from this game, it is that the passion and heart is still there, never getting down on themselves after being routed for the first 30 minutes. Another positive that Irish fans can look to is the emerging star of junior Pat Connaughton, who has become a team leader, putting up 22 points on a blistering 8-12 shooting. However, the fact remains that without Grant, the Irish continuously fall just short of where they should be. Those problems are why the Irish are now 14-13 after having NCAA tournament hopes and why games that they expected to handle at the beginning of the season, like this one with Miami, have turned into what could have been.
So, on the long flight home, the Irish now once again have to lick their wounds and bounce back, which is something they have show all season. If they do not find a second person to help score alongside Connaughton, then tonight is just going to continue to be the story of the season.
Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Sadly, it doesn’t apply on the basketball court.