Notre Dame vs. Hampton: 2018 NIT First Round Preview

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Notre Dame looked like a sleeper last week in the ACC tournament and a team that could make noise in the NCAA Tournament. Should the Irish beat the Pirates (19-15, 12-4 MEAC), they will take on the victor of No. 4-seed Penn State and No. 5-seed Temple, though the time of the second-round game is not yet decided.

Hampton had a pretty nice run going during their winning streak, and for the most part they were scoring very well in that span before coming up with just 63 points versus NCC.

Baylor (18-14) also took a big hit at the end of the season, losing four of its last five games, including a double-digit loss to No. 18 West Virginia in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament.

Notre Dame senior guard Matt Farrell probably put it as plainly and as clearly as one can after hearing the news that the Fighting Irish had missed the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

The Irish played 15 games without Colson after the preseason All-American suffered a left foot fracture December 29.

Colson finished his final regular season averaging 20.2 points, 10.1 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 2.3 blocks on 50.3 percent shooting.


Irish senior forward Bonzie Colson shoots a jump shot during Notre Dame's 73-56 win over Pittsburgh on Wednesday at Purcell Pavilion. He connected on 29.1 percent of his 3-pointers and 76.8 percent of his free throws.

Hampton comes into this game with a 19-15 record overall. Playing their best basketball late in the season, the Pirates could cause the Irish some problems in the first round of the NIT.

Colson and the Irish reached the Elite Eight in his first two collegiate seasons, falling to No. 1 Kentucky in 2015 and No. 1 North Carolina in 2016. And he even had the preternatural sense to recognize the exact moment that Notre Dame's chances might have been sunk. The semifinal and championship games will be played at New York's historic Madison Square Garden for the 81st year.

Syracuse, Louisville, Oklahoma State, Texas, Alabama, USC and UCLA - all considered bubble teams heading into postseason play - all won at least one game in their conference tournaments.

Now the question will be whether Colson gets selected at the NBA Draft on June 21. NBADraft.net does not have him getting selected.

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