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I've watched Notre Dame basketball games for 42 years. Unless a national title is won someday, I believe the miraculous rally to defeat UCLA 71-70 will always be "The Greatest Game" ever in the program's history just because of the situation and circumstances, including ending the 88-game winning streak and becoming No. 1 itself in the AP for the first time with that win.
As for the best game from start to finish, the double OT win against No. 1 DePaul in 1980 is the one I would put up there, as there something like 6-to-8 first-round picks on the floor that night, including Tripucka, Jackson, Woolridge and Hanzlik for ND.
This one fell under the craziest game I've ever seen on the hardwood here, and probably would rank in the top 3, and certainly top 5, in my book. It was an absolute refusal to lose, even after Jack Cooley fouled out with 7 minutes left in regulation while down by six and four other Irish players later followed him with their fifth fouls.
And I can unequivocally say that Jerian Grant had the greatest single minute performance in Notre Dame history in the final 50 seconds or so of regulation — or maybe at any level. The only one that comes close is Reggie Miller in the Garden against the New York Knicks.
Lou, I saw all those games, including Reggie Miller's Knick killer, and I agree with your order of wow! In Miller's case, the knicks helped him with their own ineptness while Grant was still basicaly in the flow of the game and then using his own creativity. It is amazing what athletes can accomplish when the time constraint prevents thinking and forces a player to just execute because there is no alternative.
I agree the win to break UCLA's winning streak continues to reign as the greatest in ND BB history. I was at that game as an undergrad, and my ears are still ringing. :-)
It was a classic David vs Goliath match-up. It was somewhat akin to last night's game, as it appeared until the very end that ND would not be able to hang on. Then came the "shot heard round the world"....
I also agree that the win over UCLA was the greatest ND game I ever saw, but this would have to be in the top three, and that last minute in regulation probably was the most amazing end of game performance by any ND player, and perhaps by anyone ever, particularly when you consider that, until that time, Grant had not been an offensive factor whatsoever. The other implausible element was Sherman scoring 17 in OT, after not having played in regulation, and barely at all in the last six games. And if all of that isn't improbable enough, this was the fifth overtime in the last six games between these two teams. Someone figure out the odds of that happening.
I may not be pretty, but I'm fast.....
POTW 1/31/11 - 2/6/11
I agree with your top two Lou, and i would also put this one in the top 5. A great game!
Two time Poster of The Week, 2011 and 2013.
Yes, Carr in 1971 by AP and UPi, and Dantley in 1976 by the United States Basketball Association. (I think Indiana's Scott May won the others).
As a footnote, the Helms Foundation, which awarded retroactively, named ND's John Moir as player of the year in 1938. Moir was part of the 1936 Helms Foundation national champs.
71 to 70 is the greatest game I ever saw st ND. The DePaul game as Lou mentioned. Beating a 29 and O San Francisco team was awesome also. Knocking off a number one ranked North Carolina team will always be special. I believe Andre Jones was on his official visit to ND that weekend. Knocking off number one Cuse last year was real nice especially because I live in upstate Nee York. All these games prove one thing YOU LEAD WITH THE HEART AT NOTRE DAME!!!! Last night's game was incredible. We had them aaaaaaaaalllllllll the way!!!!
After the game, Eric Atkins provided the following quote:
"I'm not surprised we won. I'm surprised it took that long."
That is a great quote....
No down-vote please - thank you!
No down-vote por favor, gracias !
Gringo Mafia ~
amigo el número cuatro
the greatest game: not even close. what hyperbole!! it was the longest game and that was it. regulation, until the last 90 seconds, was a poorly played game by both teams. as dick vitale(who drove my wife crazy with his habit of saying many lines twice) stated,nobody could shoot the ball and make a basket. yeah, grant got hot for a minute or 2 and sherman played well in the OTs. but how great of game could it be when your PG adkins shoots 1 of 6 or 7 from the foul line in a stretch when he could have put the game away. it was a poorly played long game made exciting by a bunch of bench players playing well.
edit: and no game will ever beat the UCLA streak breaking game for greatest game because no team will ever walk into the joyce center with that type of streak again.
This post was edited by phineas 14 months ago
Phineas, there's a great article on the ESPN site (there's a phrase I've rarely used in my life) by Eamonn Brennan which talks about the state of college basketball in general, and how this game exemplifies it. He complains that the quality of play, overall, has deteriorated, that officials slow the game down with too many calls, coaches overcoach and milk too many seconds off the clock with deliberate offenses, and that top players leave before finishing a full year of college. Last night's game exemplified all of that. Russ Smith was supposedly one of the top players in the game this year, and he provided a textbook of what not to do in crucial situations. Jack Cooley is a strong candidate for first team all Big East, and he played little more than half the game, missing the most critical parts. The game was decided by a player who had barely played six minutes in the previous six games. This was not a work of art. If your criteria was quality of play, then it was not remotely a great game. But, only on that criteria does it fail. Everything else about it epitomized the magic of the game. You don't need to see Ali vs. Frazier to get your money's worth.
ham...i was just going to ask, is there a player in college basketball
as dumb as russ smith? talk about not having any idea of what is
going on at certain times of the game.
Actively converting So Cal children into ND fans.......my job got easier on 11/27/10, 11/24/12 AND again on 10/19/13!!!
Newman, I read somewhere that, after last season, Pitino, who absolutely loves horse racing and owns horses, became so enamored with Smith's play, that he named one of his horses, "Russdiculous." After the game, Cooley was quoted as saying, "I think Coach Pitino lost two years of his life tonight. He might have to put that horse down."
i think "Russdiculous" is a word that certainly can be used to describe
his game last night.
from espn: "For 39 minutes and 10 seconds, Louisville-Notre Dame was everything that needs fixing about college hoops. It was a slow, ugly slog, plagued by fouls and bad shooting and missed calls and turnover".
imo, a "great" game must have 2 teams that at least played well if not great basketball. both teams stunk up the place except for 50 seconds.
it was an unexpected and exciting ending. no more, no less.
I was thinking the same through the first 39 minutes or so, that it was a clunker in many respects.
But that 71-70 game with UCLA in 1974, that was not a work of art either for ND. Notre Dame trailed by as much in the 17 in the first half, never had the lead, and it was 70-59 with 3:32. What ensued — 6-for-6 shooting by ND with no shot clock, four missed shots by UCLA, a turnover and a foul — was mind-boggling. You could have that same situation 100 times and UCLA probably would have won 99. But on that day ...
That was the Louisville game. You could repeat the last 50 seconds of regulation 100 times and Louisville would have won it 99. ND just happened to have that 1 on that night. The overtimes were just about as pulsating.
This post was edited by Lou Somogyi 14 months ago
nd has to play slow. if it's an up-tempo game espn is looking
for, south bend is not the place to find it. and i don't know what
to do about the poor officiating. still trying to figure out what jack
cooley did to pick up his 5th foul.
And that's a perfectly acceptable definition, just not one that's universally shared.
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