End of an era for Mike Brey as Notre Dame makes a first-round exit in the ACC tournament
SOUTH BEND, Ind – Notre Dame loses 67-64 to Virginia Tech in round one of the ACC tournament.
With 2.4 seconds left in the game, Notre Dame down 64-67 – graduate senior Nate Laszewski took the shot to tie the game, but it turned out to be the final buzzer Mike Brey will hear as the head coach of Notre Dame.
“Unbelievably honored, been unbelievably honored 23 Years. You know, I've been able to be the coach at Notre Dame,” said Brey.
From the time Brey left the hotel, the basketball world knew this game would be special, as he was honored by the ACC before the game for his accomplishments in college basketball.
A rough season but a clean slate to start the tournament and Notre Dame came out strong.
“We defended better to give ourselves a chance and It was an amazingly physical game,” Brey added.
Four steals and four blocks gave the Irish ample opportunities on offense, led by Cormac Ryan with 18 points and Marcus Hammond with 23.
“I'm thrilled for Marcus Hammond. Finally got him healthy and you know, we had our chances,” Brey mentioned.
The game was tight down the line but foul trouble came into play.
Notre Dame earned a common foul but Matt Zona picked up a technical foul that resulted in a pause in play and eventually, Virginia Tech tying the game at 64.
The Hokies later took a 67 -64 lead after a Justyn Mutts dunk and that’s when Brey drew up the final play with 2.4 remaining.
“We drew it up. He made a screened him great and Nate wanted to take it. He probably thought maybe I don't have the window right here, but I thought he shot fake was pretty poised. He had two feet under him, three-point shot, after a shot fake and you live with that,” Brey said.
In Brey’s final postgame of his career at Notre Dame, his leading scorers in tonight’s game had a tough time accepting the defeat, but made sure to show gratitude to their coach.
“What coach has done for the program and to basically wear the jersey and have Notre Dame basketball means something, is special and you know, we're extremely grateful to have been a part of that” said Ryan.
“Just want to say, I appreciate coach Brey for giving me the opportunity to play Notre Dame. I was growing up from New York City. So, I watched a lot of Big East basketball and you know, I was a big fan of coach Brey” Hammond added.
“One thing I can say is, and I can say this confidently is, I always play hard for my teammates and I know they'll play hard for me. So, in that regard make, miss, win or loss, that's the most important thing to me” Ryan mentioned.