No. 5 Notre Dame ekes out 60-58 win over No. 12 Princeton in NCAA Tournament

Princeton had what it wanted: sophomore sharpshooter and Indiana native Devin Cannady launching an open three-pointer from the left wing for a chance to beat Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Thursday at Buffalo’s KeyBank Center.

Cannady’s high-arcing trey rimmed out, though, and the Fighting Irish hung on for a 60-58 victory, ending a remarkable Princeton (23-7, 14-0 Ivy) season that in the regular season culminated in winning the inaugural Ivy League men’s basketball tournament.

Read moreNo. 5 Notre Dame ekes out 60-58 win over No. 12 Princeton in NCAA Tournament

On the Vine – Mar. 15, 2017

Joining hosts Peter Andrews and Mike Tony for a special Ivy League Tournament recap and NCAA Tournament preview edition of On the Vine are special guest Bobby Norell of One Foot Down (SB Nation’s Notre Dame site), and IHO writers Rob Browne and George Clark.

(Here’s Norell’s Princeton-Notre Dame preview for One Foot Down.)

The panel gets a detailed breakdown of Notre Dame’s team, season and program from Norell and then reflects extensively on the ups and downs of the inaugural Ivy League Tournament and the future of the tourney.

No. 12 Princeton vs. No. 5 Notre Dame: What to watch for

Last year, Yale got to play a team in Baylor just like it in the NCAA Round of 64, one reliant on veteran bigs and offensive rebounding.

This year, the Princeton Tigers (23-6, 14-0 Ivy) get a NCAA opponent that mirrors themselves too.

Read moreNo. 12 Princeton vs. No. 5 Notre Dame: What to watch for

No. 12 Princeton to play No. 5 Notre Dame in NCAA Tournament Thursday

Less than four hours after Princeton defeated Yale to clinch in the Ivy League Tournament final to clinch its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2011, the Tigers (23-6, 14-0 Ivy) learned they will play Notre Dame (25-9, 12-6 ACC) in the NCAA first round Thursday in Buffalo, in the West region.

The matchup will tip off at 12:15 p.m. on CBS, with Verne Lundquist, Jim Spanarkel and Allie LaForce on the call, per Matt Norlander of CBS Sports.

The Tigers’ last NCAA Tournament victory came in 1998, when they defeated UNLV in the Big Dance as a No. 5 seed.

Princeton’s last NCAA Tournament appearance six years ago was a 59-57 first-round loss to Kentucky as a No. 13 seed.

Like Princeton, Notre Dame prefers to play a slower pace and shoot a lot of three-pointers, and the Fighting Irish rank first in the nation in free throw percentage and 16th in adjusted offensive efficiency.

Notre Dame lost to North Carolina in the Elite 8 last season at the Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia, and the Fighting Irish also made the Elite 8 the previous season.

Notre Dame is led by junior forward Bonzie Colson, who has averaged 17.5 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, junior guard and Bridgewater, N.J. native Matt Farrell, who has contributed 14.2 points and 5.5 assists per game, senior forward V.J. Beachem and his 15.0 points and 4.1 rebounds, and senior guard and Medford, N.J. Steve Vasturia and his 13.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game.

The Fighting Irish are 9-8 against top 60 KenPom competition and are ranked No. 25 in KenPom. Princeton is ranked No. 59 by KenPom.