The Morning Mix

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Today brings a shortened Morning Mix. But again, a short Morning Mix is better than no Morning Mix at all

Time to hit the links, executive-course style

– Rush The Court’s “Thirty Reasons Why We Love College Basketball” is constantly one of the best preseason content series on a yearly basis.  It’s #ReadoftheDay material for the next 29 days

Is Gonzaga a Final Four contender? Surprisingly enough, this should be the most talented team Mark Few has fielded in some time. Much of the media world is thinking that the Zags could finally reach the promise land this year

– As we heard last week, Mike Marra’s career is over at Louisville after a second ACL injury. It’s a shame this absolutely filthy, nasty, monsterous #POSTERIZED dunk video was discovered post-retirement

Andy Katz delves in to the progress Maryland can make following their disappointing second place finish in the Harrison twins recruitment sweepstakes

– Some preseason injuries may be a cause for concern for both UNLV and UCLA. Bruins guard Tyler Lamb will have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and should miss six weeks. Rebel’s guard Bryce Dejean-Jones broke two bones in his left hand last week and will miss at least four weeks

– LIU-Brooklyn got great news yesterday: the four players involved in an on-campus brawl two weeks ago have been reinstated and will serve two game suspensions. The Blackbirds catch a huge break not having to lose three of their four best players, including the reigning NEC Player of the Year Julian Boyd

– Former-Towson recruit Frank Mason has committed to Kansas, has a lot of the same tools as former-Jayhawk guard Sherrod Collins

As @RobDauster can attest, I am a fantasy sports juggernaut (107-72 what?). Now, I don’t play fantasy college basketball often, but when I do, I play The Big Chief Challenge. Seriously, I do. Last year was my first season in the BCC and if you’re a fan of old school fantasy sports, I highly recommend you join in on the action. All the cool kids are doing it

Troy Machir is the managing editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @TroyMachir.

VIDEO: Duke’s Grayson Allen beats No. 7 Virginia at the buzzer

Duke's Grayson Allen (3) and Marshall Plumlee (40) react during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Louisville in Durham, N.C., Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. Duke won 72-65. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
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Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia sparks come-from-behind win over No. 13 Louisville

Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia (32) goes up for a shot over Boston College’s Idy Diallo (4) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
(AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
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Demetrius Jackson scored 20 of his 25 points in the first half and Steve Vasturia scored 15 of his 20 points in the final 20 minutes as Notre Dame landed a 71-66 win over No. 13 Louisville on Saturday afternoon.

The Fighting Irish trailed by as many as 11 points early in the second half, but Vasturia’s hot shooting combined with Notre Dame holding Louisville to just 15 points in the final 15 minutes made all the difference.

The Fighting Irish are not as good as they were last season, but they are built in a similar mold. Jackson, as we expected, as become one of the nation’s most dynamic point guards, impossible to slow-down in isolation and ball-screen actions. Steve Vasturia emerging as a legitimate secondary option offensively and Zach Auguste is one of the nation’s most underrated big men and one of the most dangerous as the roll-man in ball-screens.

Combine all of that with a handful of shooters creating space and Bonzie Colson’s emergence as a force on the offensive glass, and Mike Brey once again has one of the nation’s most lethal offensive attacks.

Where they struggle is on the defensive end of the floor, which is what makes the end of Saturday’s win so meaningful. The Irish entered the day ranked 232nd in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency metric, which more or less means they’re as good as a bad mid-major program at keeping their opponents from scoring.

But they don’t have to be great to be able to win games.

They have to be good enough and they have to get important stops.

That’s precisely what happened on Saturday.

Whether or not that actually becomes a trend for this group will be something to monitor — it happened for Duke during last year’s NCAA tournament — but the bottom-line is this: Notre Dame does something better than just about anyone else in college basketball, and that’s score the ball.

On the nights they are able to gets some stops, they are going to be able to win some games. In the last eight days, they’ve proven that, beating North Carolina, Clemson on the road and Louisville.

And that makes them dangerous in March.