Irish focused entering 2nd round game against Wash St

Mike Brey is one step away from reaching the Sweet 16 for just the 2nd time in his 8 seasons as Notre Dame's head coach.

The 5th-seeded Irish will face 4th-seeded Washington State in the NCAA Tournament's 2nd round Saturday at 6:40 EST in Denver.

Notre Dame is coming off a dominating 68-50 win over George Mason in the opening round.

Washington State, meanwhile, outscored Winthrop 42-11 in the 2nd half to win its 1st round game 71-40.

6'10" center Aron Baynes led the Cougars with 19 points and 8 rebounds.

Washington State has another big man as a starter in Robbie Cowgill, who all stands 6'10". Cowgill had 14 points for the Cougars against Winthrop.

"They have some great size down low and some great players there," Irish sophomore Luke Harangody says about his potential matchups.

"It's going to be another tough challenge for me but we'll look at some tape and see what they have."

Harangody's teammates aren't worried.

"I think they're big guys down low are more worried about Luke than he is about them," junior Kyle McAlarney says.

"He's been taking on great big guys all year. I'm not worried about him or Rob at all."

But McAlarney does realize the Irish as a whole are up for a challenge. He says he's seen a lot of Washington State throughout the season.

"They're a very good team. They play a lot like us offensively. We're very excited to play them. We're going to come out with a lot of energy."

Notre Dame is not looking for a second round exit. They want to play into the second weekend.

"We're not getting too excited because we still have a lot of work to do," junior Zach Hillesland says.

Sophomore guard Tory Jackson agrees.

"We're treating this like a business trip," Jackson says. "We're focused and a lot more hungry."

"I feel very confident we can make a run at this," McAlarney said.


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