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Irish Set for Two-Game BIG EAST Trip

Feb 15, 2013, 1:37 PM EDT

Senior point guard Eric Atkins (photo by Maria Massa) Senior point guard Eric Atkins (photo by Maria Massa)

As students’ families arrive on campus for Junior Parents Weekend, many Fighting Irish teams are hitting the road. The #21 Notre Dame men’s basketball squad is no exception, as the team gets ready for an important Saturday-Monday BIG EAST swing trip.

The Irish will travel to New England later this evening, in preparation for tomorrow’s game against Providence at noon ET at the Dunkin Donuts Center (BIG EAST Network/ESPN3), before heading to the Steel City for a Monday night matchup with #16 Pittsburgh (7 pm ET on ESPN).

At 8-4 in conference play, Notre Dame is currently in a three-way tie with Louisville and Pittsburgh for fourth place. Ahead of them? Three teams knotted for first – Syracuse, Georgetown and Marquette, all at 8-3.

Following a loss to the Orange two Mondays ago, the Irish responded with back-to-back overtime wins. First, the 5-OT epic versus the Cardinals, and then on Wednesday, an 82-78 win against DePaul. Fortunately, that one only took one extra period.

Still, it has made for a long week, and at this point, head coach Mike Brey and his team are taking advantage of every opportunity to keep their legs fresh.

Given the grueling nature of the BIG EAST schedule, it’s a survive-and-advance kind of attitude night in and night out. At this point in the 2012-13 season, there are six games remaining – four on the road and two at Purcell Pavilion. Of those road trips, three games will be against teams currently ranked in the top-25.

If Notre Dame can steal a couple of those away games, and protect the home court against Cincinnati and St. John’s, the Irish may find themselves in position to earn a coveted double-by for next month’s BIG EAST tournament in New York.

It all starts on Saturday at noon against the Friars. Former Irish laxer Eamon McAnaney (’91) and Bob Wenzel will be on the call. If you can’t catch the game on ESPN3 or the BIG EAST Network, tune into the radio broadcast on UND.com.

About In The Paint

Welcome to In The Paint, the official blog providing in-depth and exclusive access to the Notre Dame basketball programs. With features, videos, photos, commentaries and news from inside the Purcell Pavilion, we are committed to bringing you coverage of the Fighting Irish unlike any you can find elsewhere.

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