Notre Dame faces Iowa State tonight at 9:45 p.m. in the opening game of the NCAA Tournament. Angelo Di Carlo is in Dayton covering the Irish and caught up with Coach Mike Brey for a one-on-one chat.
For seasoned basketball coach Mike Brey March Madness never gets old.
“To go to four in a row and six out of seven, I'm really proud of where our program is. We want to stay in this for a while. We've had a week of preparation. Preparation for a team that is really explosive offensively,” said Brey.
Friday night the Irish face off against Iowa State, a team which Brey says is “fireworks offensively.”
“At times, they could have five three-point shooters on the floor. It's a difficult match up for us. Our big guys will have to be out on the arc defending--but our bigs will have to be pretty alert,” Brey added, “We're going to have to be efficient offensively. We're going to have score to beat them. We're not just going to stop them.”
Some of Notre Dame’s starters were rookies in terms of the Big Dance last year, but this season those rookies have returned, giving the Irish a big help in this tournament.
Brey says he is counting on his guards to be the veteran players that drove them to Dayton.
“And I know they want to play better than they did last year in the NCAA Tournament and all four of our big guys we're going to need and I hope Connaughton keeps shooting the way he is.”
In tonight’s match up the men will wear the white version of the new jerseys, but Brey hopes that his team will get a chance to wear the eye-catching green jerseys soon.
“I'd love to wear the green ones,” said Brey, “The white warms you up for the green. It warms your eyes up a bit.”
After President Barack Obama commented that Notre Dame's neon green uniforms were reason for them to not get out of the 2nd round, Brey had a #44 Obama jersey made and shipped to the president.
“We sent one to President Obama because I saw he had a little problem but I did guarantee him, if he wears it in a pickup game--he may be able to dribble right handed better 'cuz he can't dribble righty at all. In fact, I'm going to offer him a scholarship to our camp to work on his right hand.”
The Irish hope to prove the president wrong, and all the action kicks off tonight in the first round.