Dame reads

Despite having two teeth knocked out and missing the second half of Sunday's win over St. John's, Samardo Samuels is good to go for tonight's game.

Samardo Samuels politely smiled today at a media conference revealing newly acquired braces courtesy of an inadvertent elbow to the mouth against St. John’s.

...

"I’ve been through way worse stuff than that in my lifetime," Samuels said. "I did individual (workouts) today and we were doing a little one-on-one and I wasn’t thinking about the teeth at all. So I’m feeling pretty good."

T-Will has a Q&A with the Sporting News in which he gives a pair of hilarious answers to questions concerning the superiority of the Big East to the ACC.

Q: Where do you stand on the debate about which conference--the Big East or ACC--is college basketball's best?

A: The Big East. I don't know how you could even ask that. That's easy. That's not even a question.

Q: Why is that?

A: Look how physical we are. The ACC, that's not physical. Our last-place team in the Big East could win in the ACC. We're the toughest conference.

The Chicago Tribune takes a look at the reasons for Notre Dame's current seven game slide.

•Rotation. Brey pushed off the what-do-you-regret question until March, but expanding the rotation earlier will be at the top of the list.

Tyrone Nash and Carleton Scott alone aren't the answer. But asking them to provide a spark midway through Big East play, when they combined for 222 minutes in the first 21 games, is a risky move that could have been mitigated earlier.

It also would have helped the legs of a team on which six players account for 87.1 percent of the minutes played.

Clearly, no one can discount how murderous the Big East is this season. Few teams would emerge unscathed after a stretch like Notre Dame's recent gauntlet featuring top-10-caliber teams.

But a thorough collapse? Unexpected, but not unexplained. And the inherent limitations of this team do not appear to have a quick remedy.

"There's always a chance," Nash said. "You never know. Especially with us."

The AP story focuses on the Irish taking an us against the world attitude into tonight.

"There really is nothing to lose. No one's going to pick us," guard Kyle McAlarney said. "So we really can go out there and let it all hang out and play with reckless abandon."

The Irish (12-10, 3-7 Big East), who lost a total of eight games in each of the past two seasons, are trying to avoid an eighth straight loss. The Irish haven't lost that many in a row since a 13-game skid during the 1965-66 season.

Luke Harangody, who was held to five points and one rebound against UCLA, promises Notre Dame will put in a better effort against the Cardinals (18-4, 9-1).

"It's going to be a fight and there's going to be punches thrown as we didn't do Saturday," Harangody said. "They threw the first punch and we just fell down."

And if you missed ericdedwar's "Harangody's diary of a trainwreck" from earlier this week, well, don't miss it this time.

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