Irish men’s hoops team prepares to face top ranked Villanova Saturday

stevevasturianotredame

Over the last two and a half seasons—the Notre Dame men’s basketball team has won an ACC Championship, reached the Elite 8 two years in a row and the 23rd ranked Irish are undefeated to start this year.

Yet, Notre Dame remains under the radar in the national scene. That will all change if the Irish knock off undefeated defending national champion and the nation’s number one ranked team Villanova Saturday at Noon in Newark, New Jersey.

“We’re excited for the game,” says New Jersey native and Irish point guard Matt Farrell. “We’re excited for the challenge to be on that stage. That’s something we feel we’ve worked for and we deserve and so we are excited going into the game.”

“We’re super excited,” adds another Jersey guy, Steve Vasturia. “I think it’s going to be a great chance to play a really good team. That’s what we want to play hard games and have the opportunity to win big games and I think it will be good preparation for the ACC where every team we play is going to be a tough game and a great atmosphere.”

Saturday will be the first meeting between the two old Big East rivals since the Irish left for the ACC in 2013 so not a single player on Notre Dame’s roster has been against the Wildcats.

Villanova leads the all-time series with the Irish 18-17.

This will be the 12th time a Mike Brey coached Notre Dame team faces the #1 ranked team in the country. Brey’s Irish are 7-4 in their previous 11 attempts under Brey.

The 9-0 Irish are off to their best start ever under Brey. Notre Dame has had big neutral site wins over Colorado and Northwestern as well as home victories over Iowa and Fort Wayne but no question Villanova will be the toughest test of the year for ND.

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