Christie attends Princeton NCAA opener, roots for Notre Dame

Christie attends Princeton NCAA opener, roots for Notre Dame

Christie attends Princeton NCAA opener, roots for Notre Dame

Drastic measures were in order.

The 2017 NCAA Tournament is officially under way, and there wasn't much in the way of madness with the first round halfway in the books.

Yeah, this pressing thing should work out just fine.

No. 7 St. Mary's (Calif.) 85, No. 10 VCU 77: Jock Landale had 18 points and 13 rebounds as seventh-seeded Saint Mary's held on for an 85-77 victory over No. 10 Virginia Commonwealth in the opening round of the NCAA tournament's West Region on Thursday night.

The victor advances to the Sweet 16 in San Jose, Calif. He hasn't committed four or more turnovers in his past 16 outings, a reason why the Fighting Irish entered this week having committed just 178 turnovers - the second fewest in the nation.

"That's our theme. We've got to be receivers. It doesn't matter how you got there".

Call it luck, or coincidence, but Notre Dame is still in town for the NCAA Tournament. "We've done a good job when we don't have numbers in transition, we kind of back that thing out and make you guard us for a while". "We were able to post him more". "I think that's the one thing that's good about this team, we have a bunch of guys that can step up and score and contribute".

Notre Dame, meanwhile, came this close to being upset by No. 12 Princeton.

"The big question mark was who's going to handle the ball for us", said Brey in referring to Farrell replacing Jackson. Now that's easier said than done, because they're really good in the half court. So I think for us the challenge is just going to be making the right decisions and not rushing.

On the rare occasion the Irish haven't been mentally tough - most notably at Florida State in a mid-January road game - the Seminoles turned Notre Dame over 18 times.

The Irish beat Florida State in two subsequent meetings, making just 13 and nine turnovers, respectively.

"Gave everyone a show", Brey said. "They played 11, 12 guys and got up into you". The Mountaineers aren't too far behind, turning the ball over just 12 times a game. We did not take care of the basketball. So we're confident. But we've seen the other side of it. "That's why I made the comparison".

And against an aggressive press defense like West Virginia's, mental toughness can carry the day.

Their astonishing 79% from the line has gotten them out of more than one situation this season.

Notre Dame's Steve Vasturia rebounded and hit a free throw for the final point of the game.

West Virginia is the No. 1 turnover-forcing team in the nation. The initiator of the press is, on the surface, an unlikely candidate - 6-foot-9, 235-pound senior Nathan Adrian - who plays more like a bruiser than a back-court thief. "And it's probably why we won the game".

We gettin' to the thick of it!

The Fighting Irish (26-9) almost squandered an 11-point second half lead.

"We're going to attack", Farrell said. "I might have a good look early in the shot clock and I have to rise up and shoot it". That's what we do. "If you're asking me would we have picked them?" The Tigers were able to capitalize, and it cost them an upset bid. "We didn't shoot the ball very well and we weren't moving well offensively, we weren't screening that well". Somewhere between preparedness/attention to detail and handling it like any other aspect of the game is Brey's desired goal. "I think it's going to be a feeling-out process for us tomorrow in the first half". "I've got pretty sharp guys with high basketball IQs".

Farrell, who runs the offense, recognized the advantage Colson had against the Tigers. We need to move and set screens and we need to flow better.

If the Irish do that, chances are they'll be packing their bags for the West Coast and the Sweet 16.

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