Notre Dame is one of the most polarizing universities in the nation, having a tradition of excellence in academics, athletics, and any and all of their other endeavors. The Fighting Irish basketball team is just one of many integral parts of the universities legacy. The Fighting Irish had success in the pre-tournament era, winning championships in 1927 and 1936. In the tournament era, Notre Dame has continued to be an elite program, particularly during head coach Digger Phelps tenure with the program from 1971-1991.
Some of the Notre Dame’s best moments came in the 1970’s. Despite not advancing past the Sweet Sixteen either year, Austin Carr went off in the 1970 and 1971 NCAA Tournaments, holding three of the top five individual game scoring records in NCAA Tournament history. This includes the top performance when Austin Carr scored 61 points against Ohio in the 1970 NCAA Tournament. Austin Carr was the National Player of the Year in 1971. Another great moment for the Fighting Irish came when they upset the #1 UCLA Bruins in January of 1971, making them the last teams to beat UCLA before their historic 88 game win streak. Notre Dame was also the team that ended the win streak by defeating the Bruins in January of 1974. Of course, the Fighting Irish’s greatest accomplishment of the 1970’s was making their only Final Four appearance in school history in 1978.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish Recent NCAA Tourament History
Notre Dame made the NCAA Tournament four consecutive seasons between 2010-2013. In 2012 and 2013, Notre Dame was a #7 seed and lost to the #10 seed in their first game on both occasions. In 2012, the Fighting Irish lost to the Xavier Musketeers by a close score of 67-63. In 2013, the Fighting Irish lost to Iowa State Cyclones by a less narrow margin of 76-58.