After a grueling schedule that featured 10 games last month with no more than three days between games the Irish are looking forward to the nearly week long break before North Carolina.
January was not exactly a great month for the Irish men's program. After getting out to a fantastic start on the fourth with a win over Duke things took a turn for the worst. Notre Dame has dropped seven of their last nine including a 15 point loss at home to Virginia.
Fortunately for the Irish they now get a little bit of a break between games. The full four day break between the Syracuse game and the North Carolina game is their longest break since the five games they had off over New Years.
"We have had a lot of games in a short window really," Irish head coach Mike Brey said. "The B.C (Boston College) game and Syracuse game was a short window. We have guys playing heavy minutes, Pat (Connaughton) and Eric Atkins especially."
Now the Irish have a chance to get back in the gym for a couple of days and focus on themselves. A chance to catch their breath before they welcome in North Carolina on Saturday.
"Practice is huge," Irish captain Eric Atkins said. "That is where we get better every single day, These next few days we are going to take one day off and then really get two or three days of really good practice to get ready for North Carolina which we are going to need."
Coach Brey is looking forward to the extra couple of days of practice but he also enjoys his players getting a chance focus on school.
"To come back and kind of down shift a little bit and go a little lighter and get in to a real good practice routine Thursday and Friday is probably the best way for us to help. Also it gets our guys back engaged academically. We have traveled a little bit, we can get
back and catch up academically on things we have missed while on the road."
Tip off for Notre Dame's game at home against North Carolina is set for 12:00 p.m. on Saturday.