As Sunday night’s storms rolled through Michiana, Notre Dame fans hoped the Fighting Irish would roll into the Sweet 16.
A victory over Florida State would have done just that, handing Notre Dame its first Sweet 16 appearance since 2003. However, their 71-57 loss stole any chance.
Sunday night’s tip-off was 9:40 p.m., not the most convenient time to watch a basketball game. To make matters worse, Notre Dame was wrapping up its spring break, with hundreds of students still returning back to campus.
The lack of students and the bad timing meant a lack of business at bars all across the area.
The Linebacker was no exception. Managers said the crowd that took-in Sunday night’s game was no more than a typical Sunday. Pressed for time, a few patrons were forced to multi-tasked by doing homework, drinking beer and watching the game.
"Notre Dame comes first, academics no. Sports first, we have to be fans,” one Notre Dame junior said.
Down State Road 23, business was a bit better at Between the Buns. Doors opened at 11 a.m., by 9 p.m. the bar was at 70 percent capacity. However, the chance to fill the house wasn't looking too hopeful.
"Obviously the game starting at 9:40 is not perfect for us, but you know you win some and you lose some. We've extended our hours in the kitchen this evening to make sure everybody gets fed if they're coming in to watch the game. We're going to stay open until the game is over,” Between the Buns manager James Goodson said.
Even so, the Notre Dame game proved the biggest Sunday night the bar's seen since the Super Bowl. Some Irish fans found a loyal bar stool more than four hours before tip-off.
“I’ve always been a Notre Dame fan so just coming here and being able to experience this as a student is just really exciting,” Saint Mary’s junior Kerri Doherty said.
If you’d like to watch the scene unfold inside college bars with teams in the March Madness tournament, you’re in luck. From now until the final game, you can visit USTREAM.tv to watch fans cheer on their team to victory.
USTREAM picked Between the Buns for its Notre Dame feed. If you’d like to view the streaming video for yourself, just click on the Big Red Bar.
If Notre Dame had won, they would have played this Friday in San Antonio Texas. At last check the weather this week will be mostly sunny with highs in the 80’s.