Somewhere along the way, the Notre Dame men's basketball team scrapped what was supposed to be the script.
In the process, the Irish have sent a season once considered suspect
on a collision course toward special.
Notre Dame's latest magic trick surfaced Sunday in a rematch with
defending national champion Connecticut. The first time around in
South Bend, the Huskies did as they wanted against an Irish team that
didn't measure up during the decisive second half.
Many figured it would be much of the same at XL Center.
Far from it.
Notre Dame dictated tempo and defended, traits that have helped take
this winter ride in an unsuspecting direction. The Irish ran off 13
unanswered points to start the second half and built a 10-point lead.
Connecticut made its expected run, but the visitors did just enough
good stuff down the stretch -- defended, rebounded, believed -- for a
The win closed out the first half of the Big East schedule for Notre
Dame (14-8, 6-3 and in third place in the league). It also closed out
this basketball season as the Irish have known it.
Smacked around early during non-conference play, the Irish lost three