SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame ‘s locker room after a wrenching loss to Ohio State at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 21 resembled more Broadway tragedy than feel-good romp.
The Irish puttered away a resume-building victory in the final minute and they knew it would be their last game with leading scorer Jerian Grant, who would be suspended the next day for the rest of the season because of an academic violation.
Among the inconsolable was coach Mike Brey, who only calmed down after unyielding senior point guard Eric Atkins played anger management counselor and told Brey, “We’re going to be all right.”
At the risk of sounding naive, Atkins looks like a prophet after Saturday as Notre Dame stunned No. 7 Duke 79-77 at Purcell Pavilion for its first-ever victory as a member of the ACC.