Hampton to play at Notre Dame in NIT opening round

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This one likely stings for Irish fans given Notre Dame won the regular season matchup on the road without Colson and Farrell.

"I am absolutely thrilled that we played our way into the field, given where we were in January and early February". "After a season of gut punches, that was another gut punch today". "But I had prepared them for the NIT the last month".

Coach Mike Brey called it a "fitting" chapter to Notre Dame's frustrating season. "We've had all kinds of heartbreaking things happen, and on the most important day, it was a heartbreaking day". The key? Forward Bonzie Colson, the pre-season ACC player of the year, was back after missing 15 games.

With Colson leading the way, Notre Dame beat Pittsburgh and Viriginia Tech in the ACC Tournament before running out of gas against Duke, which earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

The long wait is over and Notre Dame is not headed to the NCAA Tournament after not receiving one of the last at-large bids from the selection committee. "They just didn't have enough on their resume to be in as an at large". Notre Dame is also 1-4 ATS in their last five Tuesday games and 1-4 ATS in their last five non-conference games. "I know we beat (the Orange) on their floor". "I have to believe the committee was exhausted of looking at our stuff". If you are looking for snubs, start with the first four teams left out of the field: Baylor, Notre Dame, Saint Mary's and Southern California.

Saint Mary's may be the most unexpected omission from this year's tournament. Top guard Matt Farrell missed five ACC games because of an ankle injury.

There are some other really fun possible matchups, too.

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"We have a championship ahead of us, and we could win and we can play together, keep putting the uniform on".

How have the Fighting Irish been playing as of late?

First up is a matchup against on against No. 8-seed Hampton on Tuesday at 9 p.m.

A potential Notre Dame-Oklahoma State championship game would be pretty fun. Still, I think Hampton has the offense to keep up here so I'm leaning that way.

Notre Dame, making its 13th appearance in the NIT, will play Hampton in the first round.

Brey said he told the team about past experiences from the NIT. They finished 1-7 against ranked teams. "It's nearly kind of a fitting end to kind of how our season (went)".

The Final 4 will be held in NY on March 27.

Notre Dame presented the tournament committee with a hard decision.