For the first time, Notre Dame is 4-0 in Atlantic Coast Conference play after rallying for a 67-62 over Miami at Coral Gables, Fla., on Thursday evening.
Notre Dame trailed by four with 2:34 left, but closed with a 10-1 run to improve to 15-2, matching its best start under Mike Brey. Miami (11-4, 1-2 ACC) had a 21-game home winning streak broken.
That earned a little shimmy from the coach.
STREAK SNAPPING IN SOUTH BEACH!!!— Notre Dame MBB (@NDmbb) January 13, 2017
ND 67 | Miami 62
Irish end Miami's 21 game home court win streak. pic.twitter.com/bPZYYvjALd
Here are three takeaways:
1. Matt Farrell's improvement is fueling Notre Dame's incredible run
His improvement as a junior is remarkable, averaging 14 points and 5.4 assists, after collecting 2.6 points and 1.6 assists per game as a sophomore. He knows when to attack, pull up or use the eyes in the back of his head.
He came up big again vs. the Hurricanes with 15 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds, collecting 4 points and an assist in the final 5 minutes -- knocking down two free-throws to seal the game with 4 seconds left.
Farrell isn't the best pro point guard prospect in the league, and not even close to the most athletic. But his decision making and clutch play put him in the conversation as one of nation's top 10 point men.
2. The crazy ACC could belong to anyone, and Notre Dame is in good shape
No result would surprise me during the first two weeks of ACC play. There are only two unbeaten teams: Notre Dame and Florida State. Just like everyone predicted, right?
So Notre Dame is in good shape after surviving a tough road test at Pitt, beating Louisville, and Thursday's effort.
The next two games -- at Virginia Tech and Florida State -- will be difficult.
3. Steve Vasturia is kid clutch
Every time Notre Dame needs a big bucket, Steve Vasturia seems to come through. He sealed an overtime win at Pitt, and came up big against Miami. Up one with 11 seconds left, Vasturia found a huge bucket to give his team a 3-point cushion.
He's averaging 15 points, so it's no surprise he's finding buckets consistently, but more important he gives Brey a guy he can count on in crunch time, nailing game-sealing buckets and providing the difference between 2-2 and 4-0 in the conference.