IRISH STEW

Where does Notre Dame hoops fit in 2016 Bracketology?

IRISH STEW

Tom Noie
South Bend Tribune

With the official end of the men's college basketball season less than 24 hours old following Duke's fifth national championship won Monday over Wisconsin, it's never too early to start thinking of what lies ahead for 2015-16.

What can Notre Dame do for an encore after going 32-6 overall, 14-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Can the Irish take it a step further next March after getting to their first Elite Eight since 1979?

The Irish will have to replace senior starters Pat Connaughton and Jerian Grant and are expected to return three starters in Zach Auguste, Demetrius Jackson and Steve Vasturia. The incoming freshman class of Elijah Burns, Rex Pflueger and Matt Ryan could help immediately.

According to a way, way, way too early 2016 Bracketology projection, Notre Dame would be a No. 5 seed and be sent to Spokane, Wash., to open tournament play against Old Dominion, a team that beat Notre Dame in the first game on the first day of the 2010 tournament at New Orleans Arena.

Keep in mind that it may change, oh, about 100 times between now and Selection Sunday, but here is how Joe Lunardi breaks down next year's field of 68: tinyurl.com/yhc2hjh

Notre Dame's magical hoops season of 2014-15 included winning the school's first-ever Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championship.AP File Photo/BOB JORDAN