Don’t talk to Irish
this year about luck

Feb 7, 2006 3:37 AM

Luck of the Irish? Yeah, it’s all bad.

How about five straight losses by a grand total of 11 points and eight of the last nine! Serious love goes out to Notre Dame, 10-10 and no quit despite multiple groin shots from the Super Conference that is The Big East.

Last Saturday was the latest rim shot — an 89-86 overtime loss at Louisville. It’s almost laughable how often the Irish come out on the short end of nailbiters. And, these are hardly cupcakes they’re facing — Marquette (2 pts), Georgetown (3 pts in OT), Villanova (2 pts), West Virginia (1 pt) aside from the Ville.

Prior to beating Providence 92-77 for its only Big East win, the South Benders fell to Syracuse (6 pts), DePaul (6 pts) and Pittsburgh (3 pts in OT). ND is a stellar 11-7 against the spread, but that 1-8 league mark guarantees that the only way to make the NCAAs is winning the Big East Conference meat grinder at Madison Square Garden.

That is, if the Irish even qualify.

Imagine both Notre Dame and rookie member Louisville sitting out the Big East Garden party because they can’t qualify. That’s the price they paid for entering a 16-team conference with only nine slots available for New York City.

Oh well, there’s always football!

Villanova +8 at St. Joe’s (Tue): Big Five basketball. The Palestra. It doesn’t get any better. Though class of Philly, Cats on 0-4 ATS slide. ST. JOSEPH’S.

Rutgers +3½ at ND (Wed): Rutgers is exciting, active on the glass and can drain the 3s. The Irish can trade 3s and are desperate. Down to the wire again. RUTGERS.

Ohio State +1 at Mich (Thu): The Big Ten is all about homecourts, but OSU is an impressive 4-1 ATS away from Columbus. OHIO ST.

Princeton +7 at Harvard (Fri): Ivy League is Penn’s domain. The Tigers are finally heating up. Like the points, even if "Hahvard" is a solid 6-1 at Cambridge. PRINCETON.

Duke -8½ at Maryland (Sat): The Devils have escaped one point games with Va Tech and FSU. This is the right team and site to pull off the upset. MARYLAND.

Syracuse -3½ at St. John’s (Sun): The Johnnies gave Duke a tussle at MSG and are on the upturn. Syracuse is either great or full of ex-Cuses. ST JOHN’S.

Last week: 4-2. Season: 23-11.