Irish hockey team headed to Hockey East semifinal; new basketball, lacrosse and hockey polls
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish women’s basketball team will be a No. 1 seed in the Lexington region, facing the Northeast Conference champions Robert Morris in the first round Friday.
If the Irish (30-3) beat the 16-seed Colonials (22-10), they’ll play the winner of No. 8 Green Bay (27-5) and No. 9 Purdue (22-12) on Sunday. Those first and second round games will be held at the Purcell Pavilion.
If the Irish advance to the Sweet 16, they’ll then travel to Lexington, Ky. with a potential matchup with 4-seed Kentucky Wildcats or the 5-seed Ohio State Buckeyes.
The Associated Press poll released Monday put the Irish at No. 2 behind Connecticut Huskies, who hasn’t lost in 107 games.
A date with the Huskies would only happen if both teams advance to the national championship. The Colonials were the sacrificial lamb to the Huskies in last year’s tournament, losing 101-49.
The full bracket is here.
MEN’S HOOPS RANKED #14 IN FINAL AP POLL
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s basketball team was ranked No. 14 by the Associated Press voters in the final regular season poll Monday. The selection committee didn’t think as highly of the Irish, who won 8 of their last 10 games. They had them as the 19th best team, which is equivalent to a five seed.
HOCKEY SEMIFINAL SET
We'll play UMass Lowell at 5:00 pm in Friday's first #HockeyEast semifinal at the @tdgarden!#GoIrish pic.twitter.com/1YxRgFCeHk
— Notre Dame Hockey (@NDHockey) March 12, 2017
The No. 12 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish will face a familiar nemesis in the Hockey East tournament semifinal at 5 p.m. Friday in the TD Garden in Boston, Mass.
The Irish split a season series with No. 4 UMass-Lowell last November in South Bend, but have struggled with River Hawks since joining Hockey East for the 2013-14 season.
Notre Dame is 2-8-2 against UMass-Lowell, including two losses in the Hockey East quarterfinals in 2014-15 and a semifinal loss in the Hockey East tournament in 2013-14. The Irish are 1-5-1 in Lowell’s rink since 2013-14, and 0-1 against the Red Hawks in TD Garden in Boston.
The Irish have a 95 percent chance of making the NCAA tournament, according to PlayoffStatus.com. It dips about 5 percent if the Irish lose to Lowell and increase to an almost certainty if they beat Lowell, regardless of what happens in the Hockey East final.
We're up to #9/10 in the national polls following the weekend sweep of Providence!https://t.co/GerYl6YGBihttps://t.co/nsgIQsCCxu pic.twitter.com/ffeSvaD2eR
— Notre Dame Hockey (@NDHockey) March 13, 2017
ALLEN NAMED TO WATCH LIST FOR TOP POINT GUARD
Lindsay Allen has been named a finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award, given annually to the nation’s top point guard, for the third year in a row.
There’s some good news for the senior, who is the all-time assists leader at both Notre Dame and in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Moriah Jefferson, who won this award the previous two years, is now playing for the WNBA’s San Antonio Stars.
The other finalists are from Duke, Syracuse, Ohio State and Washington, which means a point guard from Connecticut can’t steal this one from Allen again. The winner will be announced during the Women’s Final Four. More here.
LACROSSE DROPS IN MEN’S & WOMEN’S POLLS
The Denver Pioneers are the new No. 1 in the Inside Lacrosse men’s lacrosse poll after its last-second win Sunday over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Irish (3-1) fall from No. 1 to No. 2, with Penn State (7-0) nipping at their heels. They’ll travel next to Charlottesville to face No. 12 Virginia (5-2) on Saturday evening.
Meanwhile, the women’s lacrosse team has slipped to No. 10 on the Inside Lacrosse poll after losing Saturday to the Princeton Tigers, 14-8. The Irish (8-2) play the Towson Tigers (4-3) at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Johnny Unitas Stadium.
The women’s and men’s fencing teams remained at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, in the CollegeFencing360.com Coaches Poll. Their four-day meet with Shanghai Lixin University of Accounting and Finance (this is not a joke) starts today. The NCAA championships start March 23 in Indianapolis.
WOMEN’S TENNIS WINS AGAIN
W W W W W W W W W
and counting! The Irish made it nine straight wins Monday with a 7-0 win over Richmond!
— ND Women's Tennis (@NDWomensTennis) March 13, 2017
Softball (11-10) at Georgia State (16-9), 5 p.m. According to UND.com, “Notre Dame is set to make its first appearance at Georgia State, meeting the Panthers for just the third time in series history. The Irish downed Georgia State 3-2 on March 13, 2004 in Tallahassee, Florida, and 10-4 on Feb. 14, 2016 in Tempe, Arizona.”
Baseball (3-11) at Davidson (9-5), 6 p.m. The contest — which is against Irish head coach Mik Aoki’s alma mater — can be heard live on WatchND and 103.1 FM in South Bend.
KICKER STILL NEEDS YOUR HELP
We wrote about Billy Hackett’s life-saving surgery after an unexpected heart attack. The family of the kicker for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish’s 1988 national championship team is raising money to cover the costs of their four-person family, and they’re still $7,256 short of goal.
The family posted this update Monday:
“Bill has been getting stronger over the past few weeks. While he has dealt with some uncomfortable side-effects from some of his new medications, he is learning to adjust his daily activities to accommodate them. He just began his cardio-rehabilitation, which offers him support and monitoring as he re-gains his strength, endurance, and confidence.
“Per doctor’s orders, he will continue cardio-rehab three days per week, for twelve weeks. During this time, Bill is doing what he can to help provide for his family; writing a few contractor’s estimates, and desk-assisting on a few claims. But he is still unable to return to field-adjusting and, due to the cardio-rehab schedule, unable to begin any new full-time desk work for a few more months.
“His wife, Pam, continues to work part-time, as she cares for Bill and the kids, and eagerly pursues full-time work. The Hacketts have been able to keep the household running and provide for their children almost entirely with the generous donations made through this GoFundMe campaign. While things are looking much brighter as the weeks go by, they are still in need of your support. The Hackett family is so grateful to all who have contributed to the fund, as well as all who have sent notes of encouragement and support.
“Through this campaign, Bill has found the opportunity to re-connect with many of his old friends from high school and with his Notre Dame family. He counts the support he has received (in all forms) among the greatest of blessings, and attributes his quick recovery to all the love the Hackett family has received in response to their time of need. Bill is eager to return to working full-time, and to supporting his family as he always has. In the meantime, the donations made here continue to help the Hacketts to pay their monthly bills, and to keep food on the table as Bill rebuilds his health and career.”
There hasn’t been a donation in five days. Please donate if you can.
ND GRAD TRIES TO SEE ONE SPORTING EVENT A DAY FOR A YEAR
Jamie Reidy is a 1992 graduate of Notre Dame whose first book, “Hard Sell: Evolution of a Viagra Salesman” was made into a Jake Gyllenhaal-led film, “Love and Other Drugs.”
Reidy just released his third book, “NEED ONE!” about his insane idea to see a sporting event every day for an entire year. You can buy it on Amazon.
Here’s the description: “Got a sports bucket list? His parents told him he was crazy. His friends said he'd never do it.
“In September 2013, Jamie Reidy set out to complete Sports Year, his Hail Mary attempt at a return to literary success while also recusing himself from self-inflicted midlife and debt crisis.
“With very little planning and even less funding, the itinerary called for Reidy to hit a sports event every day, ranging from the Super Bowl down to a six-year-old girls' basketball game. (FYI: the refs don't call traveling.) Along the way, he'd visit all the iconic venues like Lambeau, Fenway, Rupp, et al.
“He saw a Heisman Trophy winner play... hoops ... in a men's rec league. Jamie tailgated with strangers at The Grove, The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, and Army-Navy. He discovered his favorite new sport: women's indoor volleyball. He also witnessed sports that didn't really qualify as such: inner-tube water polo and Cleveland Browns football.
“Not to go to all Tom Rinaldi on you, but it ‘got a little dusty’ at times. Reidy watched in awe as wheelchair bowlers and amputee softball players transcended any so-called limitations. He also brought wounded veterans to games on their sports Bucket Lists, giving him much needed perspective on what constitutes actual ‘problems.’
“So, Jamie actually made it the entire year?! Yeah, no. He fell shorter than a Shaq free throw.
“But, but for five magical months, the author was a daily spectator of the human condition, and the result - Need One! - is a hilarious and heartfelt road-trip memoir. Reidy learned that while scoreboards don't allow for moral victories, life sure does.”