Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Notre Dame Basketball: The Team Your Team Could Play Like

AP Photo/ John Raoux

Mike Brey and his squad are off to a strong start this year - one of the best in school history. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish Men's Basketball squad improved to 7-0 on the year over the Thanksgiving holiday by defeating Georgia, California and Wisconsin en route to winning the Old Spice Classic.

It wasn't always pretty, as the game against Cal set the NCAA record for lowest scoring (combined) half since the stat started being tracked in the '80s, but the Irish managed to grind out three wins to claim the tournament title.

One of the many joys of the tournament, aside from claiming the championship title of course, was the barrage of Old Spice commercials, like the 'Odor Blocker' one.

Last night the Irish struggled early against Lary Bird's alma mater, Indiana State, before finally pulling away from the Sycamores to notch win number 8 on the year.

At 8-0 the 2010-2011 Irish Men's Basketball team is off to the school's best start in 37 years.

No one saw this kind of a start coming with the losses of Luke Harangody and Tory Jackson to graduation. Jackson was one of the most prolific point guards in Irish history and Luke Harangody was easily the best Irish player since Troy Murphy, perhaps even Austin Carr.

Leadership has emerged from Ben Hansbrough (brother of former Tar Heel and current Indiana Pacers standout Tyler), Tim Abromaitis, and Ty Nash. Carleton Scott has also stepped up at times and Eric Atkins and Scott Martin are beginning to develop into solid contributing roles.

The series of wins propelled the Irish into the AP Top 25, at #25, and supply confidence going into next Wednesday's matchup at AP #10 ranked Kentucky in Freedom Hall.

Kentucky might not have much left in the tank for Wednesday's game as they travel to North Carolina to play the Tar Heels on Saturday, but make no mistake about it the Wildcats are a team worthy of their ranking.

Tune in to ESPN at 9:30p EST on Wednesday to catch the action, and hopefully more great Old Spice commercials like the one below.

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