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NCAA Bracket Update: Notre Dame Ends Akron's NCAA Tournament Hopes

The Akron Zips basketball team showed, at times, that they had what it took to beat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. In the end, the same problems that plagued the Zips all season long ended up being their undoing this afternoon in a 69-56 loss to the Irish in Chicago.

Akron constantly found itself down double-digits. Each time, the Zips would hit a couple of big buckets to get the lead back to 5 or 6. They did it at the end of the first half when the Zips cut a 10-point deficit to 34-30 at the buzzer.

Notre Dame again got the lead to double-digits before the Zips cut the Irish lead to 50-45. That was as close as the Zips would get. Shooting just 36.5%, 35% from three point range, the Zips just couldn’t string enough offense together to get over the hump

Notre Dame, on the other hand, shot the ball just well enough – 44.7% from the field, 41.2% from deep – to keep Akron at bay.

The Zips did a good job on Big East Player of the Year Ben Hansbrough, who scored just 15 points on 4-11 shooting. The Zips, however, could only get one player in double figures – Quincy Diggs with 11.

It’s a tough end to a successful season for the Zips. Being in the NCAA Tournament can only help – never hurt. The Zips will be back.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.