God I hate that guy! You have to give Mike Brey a certain amount of respect, though. He knows exactly what he has, and he uses it to almost perfect efficiency. I say that not having watched too many Notre Dame games this year. However, I would imagine this is how they play all the time. In hindsight, the Irish were encouraging if not daring West Virginia to take low percentage shots in the first half. And we took the bait hook, line, and sinker.
Meanwhile, the Irish played their normal pragmatic half-court game well enough to get a comfortable lead going into halftime. They owned the tempo and were able to force WVU into situations the Mountaineers don't excel at. The Mountaineers expended a great deal of energy to get back in the game in the second half. And when the game got down to crunch time, we had nothing left.
Still, I don't know whether to give the Irish all the credit or throw a puzzled look at the Mountaineers. If you go back and look at the play-by-play from the Syracuse and Pitt victories, you'll notice that at the same time the Irish are building a lead their opponent is missing jumpers on a pretty consistent basis. Even though both teams should easily be able to take the Irish inside. Sound familiar? It's a lesson we better learn in a hurry. Because no matter what postseason tournament we find ourselves in, we're almost assured to see it again.
Video for the gif via Break.com