College basketball is nearly upon us. Tuesday, ESPN’s battalion of college basketball analysts released their picks for this season’s Final Four teams, national champion, and national player and coach of the year.
Notre Dame received some love from the panel. Two analysts picked the Fighting Irish to finally break through and make their first Final Four appearance under head coach Mike Brey.
Notre Dame has only been to one Final Four in its history, in 1978. During Brey’s 17-year tenure in South Bend, the Irish have reached the Elite Eight two times — in the last two seasons. Making the Final Four has become a stated goal for the team prior to this season.
Reporter Andrea Adelson and former Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean both picked the Fighting Irish to do just that. In addition, analysts Fran Fraschilla and John Gassaway tabbed Notre Dame forward Bonzie Colson as their guess for national player of the year.
Colson, returning for his senior season after averaging 17.8 points and 10.1 rebounds per game last year, was also picked as the preseason player of the year by the Blue Ribbon Yearbook. Notre Dame is ranked No. 14 in the AP preseason Top 25.
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