BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Zak Irvin had his chance to be Michigan’s hero one more time.
This time, however, his shot fell just short. And with that, U-M season is now over as Notre Dame defeated Michigan 70-63 to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Barclays Center on Friday night.
"Our play broke down," Irvin said. "It was intended for me. I just got the ball in my hands late. I wanted to take the shot. I haven't been afraid to take that shot (all season). I love that moment. It felt good coming off, but obviously it was short.”
Irvin, who finished with nine points, knew ND had the capability of mounting a second half comeback. Michigan led 41-29 at the half.
“You got to give Notre Dame credit, they’re a great team,” Irvin said. “They definitely picked up their game in the second half. They are a second half team. They came back on Duke when they were down 17 and beat them.
“We knew we didn’t want that to happen to us. It stings, the shots we normally make didn’t fall as well in the second half.”
When asked if he felt Michigan had let the game slip away from victory, Irvin, who had struggled all night shooting 4-of-16 from the floor, didn’t argue the question.
“One hundred percent, we were up (12) in the second half,” Irvin said, who finished 1-of-9 from 3s. “We got to be able to win that. This is definitely a tough one to swallow. We weren’t able to get this done. But we’ve gone through a lot of adversity this year. A lot of people didn’t think we would get to this point. But you know we don’t have moral victories, but I’m still proud of everybody.”
Adding: “Plays we normally make didn’t happen towards the end of the game,” Irvin said. “That’s tough because we made so much strides towards the end of the season being able to make those plays. The ball didn’t bounce our way in the second half.”
And now Michigan's season is over.