14. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
It’s hard not to look at how Mike Brey’s Notre Dame Fighting Irish fared in the 2017 NCAA Tournament and be disappointed. They played fantastic in the ACC Tournament, but seemed to be absolutely gassed when they came up against West Virginia and the press. That’s certainly unfortunate for them. However, they’ll be back in the fold next season and could be even stronger than ever before.
Admittedly, though, the Irish are going to feel the negative effects of losing V.J. Beachum and Steve Vasturia, particularly with Beachum. He was among their most reliable threats on both ends of the floor last year and he’ll be hard to replace. However, perhaps the likes of Rex Pflueger, who has been a warrior in limited minutes up to now, can step up and help soften the blow as his role increases.
What really holds this team together moving into the 2017-18 season, though, is the pair of Bonzie Colson and Matt Farrell. The duo was part of the leadership for Notre Dame on the floor this past season and performed as such. They’ll be able to do so again and, as Colson likely progresses further, he could be a player getting ACC Player of the Year consideration.