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Notre Dame Fighting Irish

1. The benefits of weed. When the Irish's starting point guard Kyle McAlarney was indefinitely suspended for having pot in the front seat of his car in late December, freshman guard Tory Jackson was immediately thrust into the starting spot. Although he still lacks K-Mac's consistency from behind both lines, Jackson's evolved into a very capable dynamo at the one position, scoring 34 points, dishing out 13 assists and pulling in 16 rebounds in back-to-back home wins over DePaul and Marquette. It's no wonder Jackson's a natural distributor; the Saginaw native is one of 15 siblings.

2. From downtown South Bend. Irish gunner Colin Falls has taken a majority of his shots from behind the 3-point arc (214 out of his 271 field goal attempts this season have been from long distance), but it's still quite an accomplishment to become the career 3-point leader in the history of both Notre Dame and the Big East conference. Falls ended his senior Big East regular season with 189 threes, six more than Gerry McNamara. His record seems even more valuable when you consider that his Orange counterpart was in school for nine years.


3. Not in our church. Walking into the Joyce Center, you wouldn't think it a basketball stronghold, but the Irish and Leprechaun Legion student section completed an 18-0 home campaign that extended their home winning streak to 20 games. It's a good thing Mike Brey's team was so consistent in South Bend, considering their road losses included St. Johns (RPI 130), South Florida (RPI 182, defeated them by 24 at home) and DePaul (defeated by 24 at home as well). If you're wondering how they play without a partisan crowd, the Irish were 1-1 at neutral sites, defeating Maryland in DC and losing by two to Butler. — Rakes Of Mallow

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