Just the Facts

Atkins might not see the bench in Tournament play

Pertinent numbers and notes for Friday night's second round contest between the Irish and Musketeers.

A closer look at the Notre Dame/Xavier matchup...by the numbers.

1 – Combined Final Four appearances between the schools with the Irish qualifying for in 1978 (Notre Dame lost to Duke, 90-86, the dropped another to Arkansas in the ill-conceived Consolation Game, 71-69.

Xavier has qualified for the NCAA Tournament 23 times while Notre Dame has made the field on 32 occasions, 10th best among Division I schools.

2 – Wins by the Irish in the NCAA Tournament since their last Sweet 16 appearance in 2003. In 2001, first-year head coach Mike Brey took the Irish program to its first NCAA Tournament in 10 seasons, (winning, coincidentally, against Xavier, 83-71. Brey began 4-3 with the Irish in NCAA play, advancing to the second round twice before breaking through to the Sweet 16 in '03. Notre Dame had not won a tournament game since March of 1989 (vs. Vanderbilt) prior to Brey's arrival in '01.

The program has since won just two NCAA games: 2009 vs. George Mason and 2011 vs. Akron, while losing to Winthrop (2007), Washington State (2009), Old Dominion (2010) and Florida State (2011).

3 – Wins by the Musketeers over the Irish in 18 all-time meetings. Xavier last beat the Notre Dame in January 1993, 75-60 at Xavier. The Irish have won four times since: January 1995 in South Bend; December 1995 at Xavier; March 2000 in South Bend; and most recently, March 2001 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament played in Kansas City.

Xavier's previous two victories occurred in 1951 and 1959, respectively.

4 – Wins by Notre Dame vs. college basketball's top 50 RPI. The #39 Irish defeated Syracuse (#1), Marquette (#9), Louisville (#14) and Connecticut (#32). Notre Dame lost to seven among the nation's top 50: Missouri (#10), Louisville (#14), Georgetown (#15), Indiana (#17), Gonzaga (#25), Connecticut (#32), and Cincinnati (#42).

Xavier, ranked #41 by the RPI, finished similarly against Top 50 foes, 4-6. The Musketeers topped#19 Vanderbilt, #31 St. Louis, #42 Cincinnati, and #47 Purdue, and were beaten by #16 Memphis, #20 Temple, #25 Gonzaga, #32 Long Beach State, and suffered two defeats at the hands of conference rival St. Louis (#31).

The Irish finished 10-7 vs. the Top 100; Xavier 8-11.

7 – Seasons in which a Notre Dame team won consecutive NCAA Tournament games: 1953, 1954, 1958, 1978, 1979, 1987, 2003.

Xavier has turned the trick five times, all since 1990: '90, 2004, 2008, 2009, and 2010.

8 – Consecutive wins by Xavier to start the season, a streak that included wins over Georgia, Vanderbilt, Purdue, Butler, and Cincinnati. The Musketeers won just 13 of 25 games played since the streak, one that ended following an ugly brawl vs. Cincinnati on December 10 (Xavier lost three straight thereafter including a 10-point loss to NCAA qualifier, Long Beach State).

Notre Dame won nine straight during conference play, highlighted by an upset of #1 Syracuse and #13 Marquette, and road victories against Connecticut, Seton Hall, and West Virginia. All but the Pirates of Seton Hall qualified for the NCAA Tournament.

10 – Conference games this season in which Irish point guard Eric Atkins did not spend a minute off the court. Atkins played all 40 minutes in seven different contests; more than 40 minutes in two others. He added 40 minutes of work in three non-conference games as well, and played at least 37 minutes in 25 games this season including each of the last 13 and in every Big East contest (19 total) with the exception of Syracuse during which he experienced early foul trouble and logged just 25 minutes during Notre Dame's upset win of the then 20-0 Orange.

13 – NCAA Tournament wins by Xavier during its ongoing 11-season qualifying streak. The Musketeers last missed the Tournament in 2000 and have since advanced to the Round of 32 seven times; the Sweet 16 four times (2004, 2008-10) and the Elite Eight twice (2004, 2008).

Notre Dame's last Elite 8 appearance occurred in March 1979 when the #1 seed Irish lost to #2 seed Michigan State and Magic Johnson, 80-68.

30.6 – Three-point shooting percentage allowed by Xavier, a number that ranks 31st nationally and was No. 1 in the Atlantic-10 conference (but 7th in conference play at 33.4 percent). Notre Dame wasn't far behind the Musketeers over the course of the season, yielding 31 percent accuracy on opponents' three-point attempts, and the best three-point field goal percentage defense in the Big East (25.5 percent in conference play).

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