I know. I couldn’t resist.
In the only match-up between Top 25 teams on the night, the no.17 Fighting Irish got the good vibes started for their football counterparts in Miami with a 66-60 victory over the no.21 Bearcats.
Notre Dame took the lead at the 2:50 mark of the first half and never gave it up.
Cincinnati got within a single score multiple times in the second half, getting it to 49-49 with 9:53 left, but a 10-0 run keyed by an Eric Atkins jumper made it all Notre Dame.
Up 64-60, Pat Connaughton’s free throws with 12 seconds left sealed it.
Jerian Grant’s 19 points led all scorers for Notre Dame and Sean Kilpatrick led the Bearcats with 15, the only Cincinnati player in double-figures.
Both teams shot relatively well, but if there’s one glaring deficiency, it was the Bearcats 45.5-percent from the free throw line. They were 5-for-11, lost by six.
Notre Dame has won 12 in a row and after getting to no. 8 in the nation, Cincinnati has lost three of it’s last four.
It’s going to be interesting to see how the Bearcats can bounce back. Normally, I’d be wondering IF they’ll bounce back, bt when the one win sandwiched between three losses is a road win at Pittsburgh when they’re ranked, it’s clear the team is still a contender. Plus, a six-point loss to a great Notre Dame team is far for bad.
David Harten is a sportswriter and college basketball blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.