It's official, the greatest passer in Notre Dame history is a Heisman finalist. We'll find out Saturday if his season was good enough to win it this year.
A pair of good games last night in New York. #21 Syracuse came back in a big way against #24 Oklahoma State, but couldn't finish the job in the final minute to fall 72-68. #15 Arizona outlasted Louisville 72-65; the Cardinals fell to 2-2. All other Big East teams held serve last night except for South Florida, whose dreams of a perfect season ended against Richmond.
Tonight, the only big name opponent for Big East teams is Florida, playing at home against Providence. Unless the Friars can pull off a big upset, the Big East will continue its losing streak against nonconference ranked teams. With a win Thursday, Notre Dame would hold a solid pair of victories over nonconference foes and the best at-large resume in the Big East.
On to Alabama, tomorrow's opponent. Notre dame will face a legit All-America candidate in PG Ronald Steele. While he has suffered from a sore knee in recent weeks, he leads the team with 5.3 assists per game, up 1.4 from last year. If Steele is 100%, it will be up to Kyle McAlarney and Tory Jackson to shut down his playmaking ability and disrupt the running of the offense. 6-10 Jermareo Davidson averages 15 points and 10 rebounds a game and will challenge Kurz, Zeller, and Harangody down low. Kurz and Bamm-Bamm can use their strength to keep Davidson out of the key, but Zeller might be needed to counter his superior height.
On offense, the team needs to be more patient out of the blocks and avoid a poor first half as in the Maryland game. If the Irish can turn Sunday's second half offensive peformance into 40 minutes, they will have a great shot at a home upset.