Jan 22, 2014, 2:16 AM EST
Mike Franz, the official 2013-14 men’s basketball beat writer for the In The Paint blog, is currently a sophomore at Holy Cross College. Over the course of the year Mike will bring you insight from within the student section, interviews with Fighting Irish players and stories from inside the team circle. You can follow Mike (and the rest of the Notre Dame student beat writing staff) on twitter at @JrNDBlogger.
Tuesday night the Notre Dame men’s basketball team played the Florida State Seminoles in their sixth conference game of the year. Unfortunately, the game was unenjoyable for most Irish fans, including myself. For one thing, the Irish lost once again, by a score of 76-74, dropping their conference record to an undesired 2-4 and their overall record to 11-8. Even more annoying was the pure fact that many people could not watch the game.
The game was to be shown on the ACC Network. I was a little bummed to hear that, but it was going to be okay because the game should be on WatchESPN online right? Wrong.
When I went onto their website and clicked the game, a blank screen appeared saying, “The game is subject to a blackout in your area.”
“Well that is just great!!” I exclaimed aloud in my dorm room. I thought, “How am I going to be able to follow the game now?”
Then it dawned on me that WatchND usually has the game coverage. I was right in my assumption in a sense. They did have media coverage for the ND-FSU basketball game. However, it was not visual coverage. Rather, it was the play-by-play radio coverage given by Jack Nolan.
There I was; playing the radio coverage in the background with half of my computer screen was covered by the gamecast on ESPN and the other half was covered by the @jrNDBloggers twitter account so I could live tweet during the game.
Having to just listen to the game made it surprisingly more exciting than actually watching it. There was something about having to wait the extra two or three seconds to see if a player made a big shot, who the foul was called on and even who won the game in the end.
My favorite part about listening to the radio coverage was Jack Nolan’s “three point call.” Whenever the Irish would shoot from beyond the arch and make it, Nolan would say ecstatically, “(Insert player’s name here) puts up the three… GOT IT.”
He really got into one of them when Eric Atkins made a three-pointer to pull Notre Dame within a basket in the second half. I had to turn down the volume of my computer as he yelled “GOOOOTTTTT ITTTTTT!!!!!”
Nolan certainly does a good job painting a picture for the listener to really visualize the game as if they were sitting at a courtside seat at Purcell Pavilion.
However, there was a moment in his broadcast that had me confused for a second. That moment was when he said there was a bat on the floor. At first I thought he was making reference to a baseball bat, but then when I heard him say it might have rabies I figured out he was talking about the animal.
How he was describing the situation had me chuckling a little.
Apparently, Garrick Sherman tried to pick up the bat with his bare hands in order to continue play. Lucky for his health the bat flew away up into the rafters. It certainly did make for a good laugh.
What did not make for a good laugh was the outcome of this game. The eight Irish teammates fought their hearts out. It was heartbreaking to hear, just 30 seconds after Notre Dame tied up the game at 74 for the first time since the first halg, that Florida State hit a jumper that would turn out to be the decider. It was even worse to hear that Atkins’ desperation three to win the game hit the front of the rim and bounced out.
Although you can say the team’s record is not what they desired when the season commenced, their mental and physical toughness is being put to the test. Like I said in my tweet at the end of the game:
That is exactly what this team did Tuesday. They fought back and gave themselves a chance to win the ball game.
The squad’s next game is scheduled for Saturday as the Irish will face off against the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons are undefeated at home this season and the Irish have yet to win a pure “away” game. These two streaks could come to an end on January 25th. And if the Irish play with the same toughness and fight they showed on Tuesday, Wake Forest will have their hands full.
Tip off is scheduled for 3:00 PM and can be seen on the ACC Network or you can listen to Jack Nolan’s radio coverage on WatchND.tv.
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