No. 5 Notre Dame set to face No. 12 Princeton in tournament

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish learned Sunday that their first-round opponent in the 2017 NCAA Tournament would be 12th-seed Princeton, with the Irish sitting at the fifth-seed in the West Region.

One night after falling to Duke in the ACC Championship game, the Irish (25-9) waited patiently on Selection Sunday for their names to be called. It wasn’t until near the end of the entire bracket that the Irish learned where they’d be.

“We’re thrilled to be back in it again,” Irish coach Mike Brey told media Sunday. “We’re kind of making it an annual event, which is what you want your program to be doing.”

Notre Dame has made the tournament three years straight now, winning the 2015 ACC title and earning back-to-back Elite Eight trips since then. The Irish are the only team in the tournament with that honor. As a whole, the ACC saw nine teams earn bids to the NCAA Tournament this year, falling just short of Brey’s preseason prediction of 11 teams making it.

The Irish will face the No. 12 Princeton (23-6) of the Ivy League at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, NY Thursday with a 12:5 P.M. EST tipoff time.

“The Princeton offense is all through college basketball and the NBA. I said, ‘Now you finally get to guard the Princeton offense run by Princeton,'” Brey said he told his team once it was announced.

The winner of Thursday’s contest will face either No. 4 West Virginia or No. 13 Bucknell Saturday in Buffalo.

Other Notes:

  • The Florida State Seminoles were also placed in the west region with the third-seed, facing No. 14 Florida Gulf Coast Thursday in Orlando at 9:20 P.M. EST.
  • Despite falling to Duke in the ACC Semifinals, regular season champions North Carolina still earned the top-seed in the South Region, facing No. 16 Texas Southern Friday at 4 P.M.
  • ACC champions Duke earned the second-seed in the East Region, facing No. 15 Troy Friday at 7:20 P.M.
  • Nine ACC teams earned NCAA Tournament bids in 2017, including Virginia, Virginia Tech, Miami, Louisville and Wake Forest.
  • Syracuse was one of the first teams out of the tournament, sparking debate across the world of college basketball.