The Notre Dame men’s basketball team is off until a home game Saturday against Marquette. There’s much to reflect on after the Fighting Irish knocked off undefeated and top-ranked Syracuse, Seton Hall and defending national champion Connecticut over the past nine days. The Associated Press poll has yet to be released today, but Irish head coach Mike Brey told reporters after Sunday's victory over the Huskies that he hopes his squad doesn't make the list.
"It keeps us hungry," Brey said.
Here's a three-pack of interesting nuggets to chew on until the Irish take the court again Saturday:
• Notre Dame's 50-48 victory over the Huskies Saturday in Hartford, Conn., was its first win over a defending national champion since the Irish topped UConn 78-74 on Jan. 30, 2005 inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. Notre Dame's only other win at the XL Center was a 75-70 triumph of defending national champion Connecticut on Jan. 5, 2000. Notre Dame is 4-2 against Connecticut when the Huskies are coming off a national title run. The Fighting Irish are 11-26 all-time against defending national champions, including a 6-4 mark in the last 10 matchups against a defending champion.
• Connecticut's 48 points were its fewest ever against The Irish. The previous low was 50 in a 58-50 Notre Dame victory on March 3, 2010. It was also a season-low point total for the Huskies.
Notre Dame’s 50 points was a season-low point total for the Irish and the fewest in a victory since the Irish beat Pittsburgh 50-45 in the quarterfinals of the 2010 Big East Tournament on March 11, 2010. The previous low for Notre Dame in a victory was during the 1992-93 season, when a John MacLeod-coached squad beat New Orleans, 45-43, on Dec. 28, 1992.
• Sophomore point guard Eric Atkins has played in 20 of 22 games this year and is averaging 37.3 minutes per game. He sat out two contests due to illness. There are nine regular season games remaining. Troy Murphy holds the record for most minutes played in a single season with 1,318 in 1999-2000 — a season that featured two Big East Tourney games and five NIT contests for 37 total games.
If Atkins were to appear in as many games as Murphy, he would finish, based on his current average, with 1,380.1 total minutes.
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