One, and thankfully done

Notre Dame goes quietly, fittingly, in first-ever ACC Tournament contest.

Notre Dame basketball fans -- and perhaps the program's returning players and coaching staff -- would do well to follow a method practiced by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The five-star general maintained, from his youth through adulthood, an anger drawer. It seems Eisenhower, when trying to forget a person or his actions, would write the man's name on a piece of paper, drop it in the lowest drawer of his office desk, and say, "That finishes the incident, and so far as I'm concerned, that fellow."

I give you, Irish fans, the 2014 Notre Dame men's basketball team.

So long. Farewell. Goodnight.

Notre Dame's predictable one and done appearance in the program's first ACC Tournament reinforced two realities:

  1. Actions speak much louder than words, and
  2. A leopard can't change its spots

To a man, Irish players talked about the need for improved defense and rebounding to extend their stay in Greensboro, N.C. To a man, Irish players watched as the ACC's worst rebounding team out-rebounded them -- by 10.

Head coach Mike Brey worked for a week to impart to his team that with just three more stops defensively each contest, good things could follow.

Instead, with 8:57 remaining and the Irish down 10, Wake Forest guard Miller McIntyre collected a missed Eric Atkins shot six inches from the Irish baseline. Eight seconds, six dribbles, and 93.5 unfettered feet later, McIntyre produced a right-handed form layup as the Irish defense jogged, watched, and accepted its collective fate.

The Demon Deacons shot 61 percent Wednesday, 70 percent (7-10) from beyond the arc. After all, when uncovered, many college basketball teams shoot well.

Rest assured, these Demon Deacons are no world-beaters, and weren't Wednesday, either. They committed 15 turnovers, entered as underdogs of four points (yes, you too could own a second home had you received this information prior to tip-off) and hadn't won an ACC Tournament game since 2007.

Enter the 2014 Irish. They're good for what ails ya.

A season that started with promise (a No. 21 national ranking per the Associated Press) but was rife with injury, suspension, transfer, and far more valleys than peaks, has concluded.

Tournaments such as the NIT and CIT (didn't know about that one, did you?) won't have them. The NCAA Tournament, an end-season goal not attainable for the Irish since late January, is doubtless better off without Notre Dame's annual overnight bag and dirtied sheets.

As for the recently referenced CBI, the only tournament that will take a sub.-500 squad, thankfully that won't be pursued.

"It's probably good we end this saga," Brey told the media post-game.

Irish fans everywhere, all of them, agree wholeheartedly.

Scribble the words "2014 Notre Dame Basketball" on some scrap paper. Drop it in a drawer.

Never speak of it again. Top Stories