One thing was for certain in this game. Notre Dame saw that they had a big win coming for its first Elite 8 berth since 1979. Wichita State was in the Sweet 16 three years ago. I’ll spare you the details. Notre Dame wanted that win. Badly. Notre Dame pulled away in the second half to an 81-70 victory.
Wichita State held its own until around three minutes into the 2nd quarter. The Shockers played hard but a string of good baskets pulled the game into the Fighting Irish’s favor. Notre Dame took off after that. Demetrius Jackson drained two 3-point shots like it was a backyard game to take the lead for good. The 3-point land was something Wichita State couldn’t seem to wrap their heads around.
If you want to talk about a complete game, look no further that Pat Connaughton. The man shot 7-12 from the field (2-5 from 3-point land) and finished his double-double with 16 points, 10 boards, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. He was solid from the moment he stepped on the court.
Strange, Yet True
Let’s talk about the 3-point woes some more for Wichita State. Not to beat a dead dog but they were atrocious. Jackson went 4-of-5 from behind the arc for Notre Dame while Wichita State went 3-18. Let that sink in for a bit. You won’t get to the Elite 8 with a stat line like that.
Wichita State’s magical ride comes to a close tonight with a 30-5 record. On the other side of the coin, Notre Dame will play Kentucky … er … I mean the winner of the Kentucky/West Virginia game, which comes on CBS on Thursday night.