Breaking Down The Brackets

Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey serves as the Irish's Bracketologist. With four regular season games remaining, Brey believes that he has a good handle on what the Irish need to do to get invited to the NCAA Tournament.

Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey does not want his players listening to what any of the amateur Bracketologists in the media have to say.

"As a coach, you have to talk to them about it because there is so much misinformation and different information because everybody's got a bracket," said Brey. "I try to give weekly updates. I will tell you what the deal is, don't listen to anything else."

Notre Dame sits at 6-8 with four league games left and Brey has maintained all year that 9-9 gets his team into serious tournament talks.

"9-9 would be extremely powerful in this league this year. I was hinting at that a little bit at Christmas and nobody wanted to understand that," said Brey. "I kind of knew what we were getting into this year. A 9-9 record in this league would put you thoroughly in the discussion as you head to New York, no question about it."

Notre Dame could still get to 10-8 if it sweeps its remaining games and Brey believes that finishing the regular season with a five-game winning streak and victories in seven of eight would almost assuredly secure the Irish an invite.

"If you get to 10 league wins, if you get to 10 league wins it's over," he said. "If you're 10-8 in this league, that's unbelievably powerful this year."

Brey would not count his team out even if it managed a split of the remaining four to finish 8-10.

"8-10 is not off the map, it just isn't," he said. "I'm just saying it as a fact, but you're not going to cancel yourself out at 8-10 either because you're not, the way this thing is unfolding nationally.

"That's the bare minimum to stay in the discussion as you head to New York and then figure out what you need to do in New York, in my opinion."

Brey is confident in his team's résumé and his beliefs were backed up by a chat with former Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese before the Providence game.

"One of the points Mike made was 8-10, 9-9 and they throw you up on the board to discuss you and they're comparing you against so and so from that league and so and so from that league," Brey said. "His point was: we have some nice stuff, we're not trying to get a 4 or 5 seed here, we have some things that some other people don't have that you can argue for us.

"That was his point, he's a former chair of the committee. It was interesting to hear him say that because I kind of felt that at the end of the week if we could get out of last week 1-1."

One of the key components the committee looks at is strength of schedule and with the Big East slate this year along with non-conference games with North Carolina, Texas and UCLA, the Irish certainly have that.

"I think the NCAA Tournament Committee is an educated group and is looking at strength of schedule. I don't know if anyone in the country has played more top-50 RPI games than us," said Brey. "In the midst of the Big East schedule, whether it was wise or not, I went all the way out to Los Angeles, I didn't play somebody here."

Brey believes that if his team is included in the talks that its body of work will speak for itself.

"You want to be in the discussion, that's the reality of the thing. Let's get up on that board and be in that discussion," he said. "I think I know the numbers at the end of the regular season that get us in that discussion. 8-10, 9-9 gets you in that discussion.

"Let's put the committee in a position where they've got to keep coming back to us and analyzing or schedule and strength of schedule and intent of schedule and all of those things." Top Stories