I really don’t have too much to say about the game (was only able to catch the first half), but the Irish did indeed pull out the win against UAB 70-64. Luke played well and the jump shot was falling (41% FG, 40% 3-Pt). Those things usually lead to an Irish victory more often than not. ND even did rather well on the boards as well slightly out-rebounding UAB 36-35.
So overall, a solid victory — but the real story was what was in the stands…or rather, what wasn’t. ESPN reported that the attendance was an all-time ND home NIT low:
The announced attendance was 2,039, the lowest attendance for a Notre Dame NIT game since at least 1992.
If you saw the game on TV (or were one of the few there), you are likely balking at that number as well — if there were 1,000 actually there I’d be shocked. The whole upper tier of bleachers were empty. The lower bowl was barely filled with only the lower area of the student section really being “full” sections.
It was embarrassing to see that on ESPN, but I can’t blame the Irish fans. I’m sure no one expected a NCAA Championship, but the NIT was hardly something we were expecting with this team. If given the choice between St. Patty’s drinking and watching the game in a bar and actually attending the game with no booze for sale, I have a feeling I know which one I’m choosing if I’m in South Bend.
The Irish will now play New Mexico at the JACC Thursday night at 7pm EDT/6pm CDT. Hopefully it will be a decent night-cap to a day filled with March Madness.
Go Irish. Beat Lobos.