Notre Dame men's basketball team prepares for their first March Madness appearance in five years
DAYTON, OH -- Notre Dame tips off tomorrow fighting for the 11 seed as part of the first four in the March Madness tournament.
One thing that’s special about this year, is that the Irish haven’t been part of the tournament since 2017.
"We’ve missed it in recent years and I’ve missed it desperately and to be back in it, we’re thrilled. We’re honored," said Notre Dame men's basketball coach Mike Brey.
To be back on the largest stage in college basketball has been a rollercoaster of emotions for Notre Dame.
Specifically for the seven seniors.
"I came in here to Notre Dame with intention of making it every year but obviously we haven’t been there yet," said Notre Dame men's basketball senior Dane Goodwin.
The Irish finished the regular season 22-10 sitting at number two in the ACC conference, with a 15-5 record.
While waiting for their name to be called on selection Sunday being a bubble team wasn’t the expectation for the Irish.
"I was also mentally prepared like whatever showed up on Sunday for the kid’s sake, because only Paul Atkinson has played in this tournament. Turn it and embrace it and be ready to go," said Brey.
For Atkinson, as the elder on the team, his stance on the opportunity is aligned with his head coach.
"It’s another game we got to go out and win and we didn’t care basically how we got here, we wanted to get here anyway possible and it is what it is. We going to go out here and battle. It’s going to be tough but an extra game but we’re here. We’re ready and we’re excited," said Notre Dame men's basketball senior Paul Atkinson.
"For me, part of the dream was being here but part of the dream was winning games, so I guess we’re only half way done," said Notre Dame men's basketball senior Cormac Ryan.