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Support earned for basketball’s final home game

Letter to the Editor | Friday, February 23, 2007

Going into this season, the Notre Dame men’s basketball team was all about question marks. Would they finally play good defense? Would they finally rebound? Coach Mike Brey was viewed as a “dead man walking,” and there wasn’t much enthusiasm about the prospects for the season because the team was expected to disappoint.

The results so far this year have been anything but disappointing. They’re in fourth place in the Big East, and playing a very exciting brand of basketball. Energy and enthusiasm are evident on both ends of the court.

Their game on Saturday is critical. Marquette is one of Notre Dame’s biggest hardwood rivals. Saturday’s game will be the 108th between the schools, which is more games than Notre Dame has played against any other program. A win against the Golden Eagles likely will sew up both a bye in the first round of the Big East Tournament and an NCAA bid, not to mention put the team within five wins of the all-time record for consecutive victories at the Joyce Center. And the game will be broadcast to more than three quarters of the nation on ABC.

The team needs an intimidating home court to help get a win, and the program needs to be shown to a national television audience as vibrant if it wants to continue to attract quality talent.

Although the game is a sellout, conventional wisdom indicates a not-insignificant percentage of those tickets were bought by Marquette fans early in the season. So I call upon the Notre Dame student body to support Colin Falls and Russell Carter in their final home game. Those young men, like all their teammates, have been busting their butts this year to put a quality product on the court. They deserve a quality send-off.

Regardless of how you feel about how previous seasons ended, this one looks like it’s going to end well and they need your help to do it. Regardless of how you feel about a coach, this program is bigger than any one coach because it’s owned by you, the Notre Dame family.

It’s 3:30 pm on a Saturday in February. I can’t think of a single viable excuse. Show the nation (and the administration, who will be making decisions on seating for the post-renovation Joyce Center) Notre Dame deserves and will support a big-time men’s basketball program.

Michael Coffey

alumnus

Class of 1991

Feb. 22