Mike Brey question answered in The Athletic mailbag

Like what the Irish might have in store?

[autotag]Mike Brey[/autotag] proved once again this past season that he could lead Notre Dame to success when given the right collection of talent. By advancing out of the First Four of the NCAA Tournament and then making the round of 32, Brey made the Irish one of the feel-good stories in the early part of March Madness. But what about the Irish going forward?

Eamonn Brennan of The Athletic sought to answer that question posed by a reader as part of a mailbag. The full version only is available to subscribers, but here is what Brennan thinks about Brey:

“It would appear Brey is brewing up a refined version of what he is basically always trying to brew up: an experienced team with at least four (and ideally five) shooters on the floor, punctuated, if possible, by NBA potential. [autotag]Blake Wesley[/autotag] is gone, sure, but bringing in combo guard [autotag]JJ Starling[/autotag] is a coup, particularly because Starling can just vibe while the rest of a very experienced team coming off an excellent postseason handles the rest. Notre Dame will probably be very good on the offensive end, just OK on the defensive end, fun to watch, and not very much fun to play.”

If that’s what we have to look forward to beginning in November, reserve your seats at Purcell Pavilion now. The good times indeed have returned to the Irish.

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Notre Dame wins Capital One Trophy for male athletics

This is rather nice.

From a nice football season to a March Madness run to a College World Series berth, Notre Dame’s male programs had a fine 2021-22 campaign. Now, they’re being rewarded for it. For the second time, Notre Dame has won the Capital One Trophy for the men’s side. It’s also the fourth time a school has been awarded the trophy multiple times. The others are Virginia, Stanford and Florida.

Irish athletic director [autotag]Jack Swarbrick[/autotag] took to Twitter to express pride for what the male programs did during the past school year:

The Irish previously won the trophy in 2013-14. In addition to the new hardware, the athletic department will be awarded $250,000 to be used for its student-athlete scholarship fund. One only can imagine the impact that will have over the next few years.

It’s nice to see Notre Dame receive a token of all the success we’ve seen recently. Here’s to an equally successful 2022-23 school year.

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Where does Joe Lunardi have LSU in his latest 2023 bracket prediction?

Lunardi sees the Tigers being a bubble team in Matt McMahon’s first campaign.

It’s never too early for some bracketology.

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi released his prediction for how the bracket will shape up in 2023. LSU did not make the field of 68 in that projection, but he had it in the Next Four Out.

If the Tigers even come close to the tournament in 2023, I think fans have to consider it a success. This was a program on the brink of ruin not that long ago, but new coach [autotag]Matt McMahon[/autotag] has worked some magic rebuilding this roster and getting some key pieces back.

LSU will have talent on the floor and a coach that knows how to win. It’s no guarantee that the team will even be eligible for the postseason as we wait for the situation with the NCAA to be resolved.

The schedule is sure to be tough again as basketball around the SEC continues to get even better, but the Tigers will have their chances to impress the committee.

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Where Alabama MBB is projected to land in ESPN lead bracketologist Joe Lunardi’s bracket

The SEC is tied with the Big Ten and Big 12 for the most teams in ESPN’s 2023 bracketology field. The Crimson Tide returns to the big Dance

Despite the college basketball season ending just about a month ago, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi is already taking a crack at predicting the 2023 field. Lunardi has been ESPN’s lead analyst for college basketball and in 2008 picked the entire 65 team tournament correctly. In other words, he is one of if not the best minds in college hoops.

Currently, he sees the Big 10, SEC and Big 12 each leading the way with seven teams to each qualify. Among those seven SEC teams are the Alabama Crimson Tide who he predicts as a five seed in the West (Las Vegas) region. He predicts that they would meet up with the Liberty Flames.

[autotag]Nate Oats[/autotag] and company are still more than capable of competing for an SEC title, even after losing a plethora of talent to the NBA draft and transfer portal. Fortunately, Alabama was able to bring [autotag]Jahvon Quinerly[/autotag] back for one more season as well as [autotag]Nimarri Burnett[/autotag] being one of the most anticipated newcomers in recent memory.

The Tide are still looking to bring in a player or two from the portal. When the time comes though, the Tide will be ready to roll.

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Let us know your thoughts, comment on this story below. Join the conversation today!

Tennessee projected as a four-seed in 2023 NCAA Tournament against Anteaters

March Madness: Tennessee projected as a four-seed in the 2023 NCAA Tournament against the Anteaters

The 2022-23 season will be Rick Barnes’ eighth season as Tennessee’s head coach.

Barnes guided the Vols to a 2022 Southeastern Conference Tournament championship and an appearance in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

ESPN released its 2023 NCAA Tournament bracketology on Tuesday. The Vols are projected as a four-seed, playing No. 13 seed UC Irvine in Orlando, Florida. The Anteaters finished the 2021-22 season with a 15-10 record.

The winner of the Tennessee-UC Irvine matchup would play either Michigan State or UAB.

Barnes has guided the Vols to four NCAA Tournament appearances. Tennessee advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2019, the second round during the 2018 and 2022 seasons, while being eliminated in the first round during the 2021 campaign.

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Kansas beat UNC to win team’s 4th title and Jayhawk nation went wild


After completing the biggest comeback in NCAA championship game history, Kansas officially has its first title win since 2008!

The Jayhawks bested the North Carolina Tar Heels 72-69, putting together a 16-point comeback during the second half in an absolute dominant show of force against a tough UNC squad. The victory is Kansas’ fourth overall title in team history, breaking a decade-plus long drought for head coach Bill Self’s second title with the Jayhawks.

Monday’s game was one of runs, as both the Jayhawks and the Tar Heels had long stretches of dominance during the game. In the end, Kansas was able to outlast a clearly exhausted North Carolina team en route to a title victory.

Back in Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse, Jayhawks fans were rocking and rolling after the final buzzer.

And here’s the players celebrating with their well-deserved trophy.

What a win for Kansas! Here’s how Jayhawk nation celebrated on Twitter after the historic victory.

Rock Chalk at the top: Kansas wins 4th national title, Self gets his second

USA Today’s Mackenzie Salmon looks at how the Kansas Jayhawks men’s basketball team won their 4th national title and first in 14 years.

USA Today’s Mackenzie Salmon looks at how the Kansas Jayhawks men’s basketball team won their 4th national title and first in 14 years.

NCAA hoops fans had lots of jokes about Hubert Davis’ very enthusiastic in-game interview

Hubert Davis was PUMPED.

Hubert Davis is having himself one hell of a March Madness tournament.

From starting the season with a lackluster12-6 record in his first year with the team, Davis has turned North Carolina around to star in the NCAA title game against Kansas after taking down Mike Krzyzewski and Duke. Not only that, NCAA fans have really taken to Davis during this tournament due to his incredible, emotional story with the Tar Heels.

During Monday night’s title game against Kansas, CBS court side reporter Tracy Wolfson was able to catch Davis for a mid-game interview. And folks, was Davis ever pumped up for this.

What enthusiasm! Usually the mid-game interview falls flat for people due to just how awkward it is, but for some, Davis finally justified it. Not only that, a ton of NCAA hoops fans loved the passion Davis showcased in this interview and made a lot of jokes about it on Twitter.

National Championship Game: North Carolina vs. Kansas odds, picks and prediction

Analyzing Monday’s North Carolina vs. Kansas NCAA Championship odds and lines, with college basketball expert picks, predictions and best bets.

The No. 8 seed North Carolina Tar Heels (29-9) and No. 1 seed Kansas Jayhawks (33-6) clash in the NCAA Tournament Championship Game Monday. Tip-off from Caesars Superdome in New Orleans is slated for 9:20 p.m. ET. Below, we look at the North Carolina vs. Kansas odds and lines, and make our expert college basketball picks, predictions and bets.

North Carolina is unranked nationally and has made the title game as the No. 8 seed from the tournament’s East Region. The Tar Heels eliminated defending champ and East Region No. 1-seed Baylor 93-86 in overtime in the second round.

They advanced to this game after an 81-77 victory over No. 2-seed Duke Saturday. The Tar Heels have averaged 77.8 points per game in going 11-1 since Feb. 19. UNC has out-rebounded foes in all 12 of those games.

Kansas knocked off Villanova 81-65 in Saturday’s semifinal. The Jayhawks — ranked No. 3 in the Ferris Mowers Coaches Poll powered by USA TODAY Sports — came from the Midwest Region and were the only No. 1 seed to make the tournament’s Final Four. A sharp Kansas defense has held foes to 60.8 PPG on a 35.0% mark from the floor across five games in the tourney.

North Carolina vs. Kansas odds, spread and lines

Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 11 a.m. ET.

  • Money line: North Carolina +155 (bet $100 to win $155) | Kansas -190 (bet $190 to win $100)
  • Against the spread (ATS): North Carolina +4.5 (-120) | Kansas -4.5 (-105)
  • Over/Under (O/U): 151.5 (O: -112 | U: -108)


North Carolina vs. Kansas odds, lines, picks and predictions


Kansas 79, North Carolina 73

Money line

North Carolina is a fast team that tends to work advantages against teams that play in a slower lane. While that perhaps benefited UNC against moderately-paced Duke in the Final Four, that’s not the match-up here.

Kansas, which plays at a pace near that of the Tar Heels, has really ramped up its defense — a plenty-good defense to begin with — in the tournament. The Jayhawks have the big veteran bodies to hang with UNC inside, and veteran KU Head Coach Bill Self is no stranger to coaching in big games.

The Jayhawks have done well to display an uptick in forced turnovers and avoiding opponents’ free throws of late. Those factors loom large in perhaps getting this game to the finish line with a 5-to-7-point cushion. I peg KU as a near-70% proposition for the straight win.


Against the spread

UNC is perhaps overcooked in the fatigue department after Saturday’s emotional triumph over rival Duke. The Tar Heels’ surge has them also being overcooked a bit in the eyes of the betting public.

Consider some partial-unit action in a mix with the above: TAKE KANSAS -4.5 (-105).


PASS on a well-made number for a game featuring two up-tempo squads.

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From Final Four to National Title: What it takes for UNC, Kansas to win it all| Clear Play

Clear Play: We take you behind the scenes at the Final Four, and keys to the game with USA TODAY Sports’ Scott Gleeson and Dan Wolken.

Clear Play: We take you behind the scenes at the Final Four, and keys to the game with USA TODAY Sports’ Scott Gleeson and Dan Wolken.