MEN'S BASKETBALL: Notre Dame narrowly escapes Princeton's upset bid in first round


STANFORD'S STREAK: Pac-12 champion Stanford joins Tennessee as the only schools with 30-year NCAA tournament streaks. The Irish will take on the victor Saturday, March 18 in Buffalo, New York.

"He's sore", coach Mike Brey said. While they did a good job of hanging with the Fighting Irish when trying to find a man who's under the basket - the product of a signature Princeton backdoor cut - they couldn't do much else. Notre Dame is seeking its first trip to the Final Four since 1978. The Irish will play the West Virgina vs. Bucknell victor on Saturday.

Senior guard Steve Vasturia has said, "We have a great opportunity ahead of us to make a deep run in this tournament". That shouldn't happen - the law of averages. And I think in this tournament, this nucleus of guys, just feel like as this thing was getting close, well, that's what we did all past year. "We just stole wins to get to the Elite Eight".

"We've had an unbelievable run in close games", Brey said.

Two years ago, they lost to unbeaten Kentucky by two in the final seconds of the East regional two years ago in Cleveland.

"This feels like beating MI, we've got guys that beat Northeastern", Brey said. "Sometimes in the middle of the season, early in the season we weren't playing well at the same time on both ends of the floor, but right now it's great to see that on the defensive end and the offensive end we're really clicking".

With 8:35 left in the game, Cannady nailed a three in the corner and was fouled by Farrell.

Colson seemed to re-aggravate his ankle injury when he was fouled in the paint. They've won a lot of games like this, getting down to the wire, having to get a stop, having to make a free throw, getting the ball inbounds with no timeouts. "We've gottta be up on them and not sunk back in". Notre Dame led 52-45 and was trying to reestablish control when Farrell threw a wild cross-court pass that sailed out of bounds. Still, Brey knows when to push and when to back off and regroup. Notre Dame advanced to face fourth-seeded West Virginia, which held off a pesky Bucknell team to win its opener.

Colson led Notre Dame with a game-high 18 points, seven rebounds, two assists, a steal and two blocked shots. Those two free throws were especially huge, since Colson had made only 4-of-8 from the line at that point.

And so as Princeton came back in the second half and Notre Dame's shots stopped falling? The Tigers missed two threes in the final 20 seconds, a wide open look by Steven Cook that would've tied the game with 19 seconds left and a long open trey by Devin Cannady that would've given the Tigers the victory with less than a second remaining. I think we tried to get to the rim, but I thought Notre Dame, they're smart, they're tough. "And I thought that was the story of the game-they had a lot more experience in this moment, and it showed". "That's how we were going to escape and we did escape".

All of that said, after Weisz scored 15 points in a player-of-the-game performance for the Tigers, the history major insisted the Tigers didn't lose because they were juggling mid-terms with the Madness. Cannady, one of their leading scorers, was 2-of-10 from three-point range and finished with seven points.