Chicago Sun-Times
with Mark Lazerus

Is Notre Dame the No. 1 team in the country?

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Notre Dame has its eyes on a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament after Pittsburgh was upset by Connecticut in the Big East quarterfinals. The way things are going in the conferenc tournaments, if you took a poll right now, the Irish might be the No. 1 team in the entire country.

Notre Dame leapfrogged BYU, Duke and Texas to go from No. 8 to No. 4 in this week's poll -- behind No. 1 Ohio State, No. 2 Kansas and No. 3 Pittsburgh. Ohio State needed overtime to beat Northwestern (18-13) in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals. Kansas survived a last-second shot to beat Oklahoma  State (19-13) 63-62 in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals. And Pittsburgh lost to Connecticut (24-9) in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals.

That would leave Notre Dame, which wiped out Cincinnati (25-8) 89-51 in the Big East quarterfinals, No. 1 -- at the moment. It doesn't work that way, of course, and Notre Dame figures to be in tough against Lousiville tonight in the Big East semifinals. But the opportunity is there for Notre Dame to secure a No. 1 seed with a victory. 

Since UConn [beat Pittsburgh] we've been hearing it. We think we're deserving of it,'' Notre Dame forward Tim Abromaitis said. ''But we have to prove it in the tournament. If we prove it [tonight], that will be the first step.''

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Potash published on March 11, 2011 2:09 PM.

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